Chickens have been outside for a couple weeks now, but I've been a bit slow getting the pictures up on the blog. They caused us some difficulty in getting them outside...
Here was the plan. Move the chickens out of their house into their outside pen, move the house out of the barn, then let the chickens go into their house again from the other end of the pen. Sounds simple?
We got home after an evening meeting to find almost all 200 chickens had gotten out of their pen and were back in the barn where their house had been. Even though their house was open to the pen outside, almost none were in their house. We had to carry them in ones, twos, and threes from the barn into their house. Bruce thought it was lots of fun to catch and carry the chickens, but it was definitely not a part of the plan....
Our young hens have started to lay as well. These are the chickens that will be providing the eggs for all those who have signed up for the weekly egg share. Bruce collected the eggs today.
Norton is building us some special roll out nest boxes based on a design I saw while on a brief trip to Switzerland this spring. The idea is that the egg will roll out of the box into a catch tray after being laid. This will keep the eggs cleaner and make easy collecting.
In the photo to the right you can see that the chickens really enjoy being outside.
We moved the last of the animals out of the barn today! It is good to see the barn empty and all the animals enjoying the fresh grass. Looks like we can stop feeding hay as well.
This first picture shows my golf bag with fencing supplies and the cows in the background. We like to use temporary moveable fencing for the cows because it is cost effective and easy to move. The golf bag can be worn like a backpack and carries all the supplies needed and the twine fence is a poly wire with metal strands that can be easily rolled up and unrolled with the simple spool.
Our larger flock of organic hens are in the hoophouse and the colt is in the background. We'd tried to put the colt out before but he ran through the fence. Elton put up three strands this time and so far so good. The hens can come out, but they are a bit timid. That will change in a day or two.
Last, but not least, peas went into the ground today! Our first seeding in the field.
The warm sunny weather yesterday afternoon was really great!
We did a revamp of our fencing yesterday and put the cows out to fresh pasture. I was surprised to see how much they enjoyed the grass. Even though it is last year's growth and looks brown, they munched along happily.
We hope to move the chickens out the barn in the next few days as well.