Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Weekend manoveurs

Yet another weekend spent reorganising the poultry. Each time we move them I think 'right that's it for a while', but in no time at all we seem to need to move them all around again. Next year when all the houses and pens are in place it will be better. This move involved all the hens and was the m
ost radical change of all. It was only necessary because the new poultry pen isn't ready for the growers, due to the cold, wet winter and very dry spring.

It was planned that as soon as the growers were large enough to 'free range' they would move to the large open pen in the yard, but as this isn't ready for them I have decided they are more secure at home in the layers pen. So all the lay
ers have joined the breeding groups at the yard. The heavier breeds i.e Light Sussex, Brahama and Dorkings have joined the Indian Game flock and the lighter breeds i.e Cream Legbar and the Leghorn cross have gone in with the Welsummer group. The young Exchequer Leghorn I have kept at home with the growers ( it is nice for her to be 'top hen' for a while.)

Once all the houses were cleaned and disinfected the change around could begin. The growers are now housed in the layers coop, their previous house and run occupied by the Indian game and her chicks. The ark the Indian Game was in isn't needed until the Australorp broody hatches her eggs, due the end of this week, so for now the growers are using it as a shelter. All the moves went well. Having a cockerel certainly helps whe
n introducing new birds to a flock. The growers were a little confused last night and settled to sleep by the door of their old run and needed placing one by one into their 'new' home. It is very strange without the layers but the growers are fun to watch.

Photo: Showing part of the layers pen at home.

Left: the A frame ark used for a broody and chicks for their first week or two, normally kept on the grass in the garden rather than in the poultry pen.

Center: the permanent coop normally housing the layers, now home to the growers.

Right: The moveable house and run used for chicks between 2 and 8 weeks old
. At present home to the IG broody and her chicks


  1. Hi again,
    I was wondering if you would have some close-up pictures of your poultry houses. Possibly they are elsewhere in your posts. We just aquired our 16 week-old heritage turkeys and have 25 layer eggs in the incubator. (Unfortunately, our Australorp gave up on her eggs on at Day 19. It was hot in the coop and she just thought the tall green grass was much more to her liking. Sad for the 11 eggs she left in the lurch.) I am looking for some designs for the poultry's new digs and like yours.

    Thanks, Marianne

  2. Hi I'm sure I have photos somewhere. I'll look them up. Most houses my husband makes, the center one in the picture I'm ashamed to say we bought at a ridiculous price and although good not ideal.Homemade ones can be adapted to your own requirements and cost a minimal amount.

    A shame about your Australorp, when it was hot last week mine kept getting off the eggs and sitting beside them, which was a little worrying, but it's cooler now and she only has a few days to go. How disappointing when yours was so close.

    How are you getting on with your turkeys? , I'm still anxiously waiting for mine ..hoping some at least will hatch.

  3. Our turkeys are doing great. They are 10 days old today. We moved them out of the battery brooder, as they were getting their elbows (if turkeys have elbows) stuck in the wire grating and crowding in the corner. They are now in a sheep water trough (without the water) with a covering of chicken wire in our little hay barn. Hopefully they are eating lots of their turkey food and not the shavings.

    More rain, rain, rain. All records were broken for April & May and June already (and it's only the 3rd.) I'll keep a good thought for your turkey eggs.