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Moving Day

Posted 5/5/2010 10:58am by Renae Schlatter.

Our growing season is now in full swing. Last Thursday was a big day for our first batch of broiler (meat) chickens as they were moved from under the warm brooder to the floorless pens we have out on pasture. They were three weeks old and ready to be moved to the next stage. Since this was our first batch to be moved out it took a little extra time in getting the pens set up and feeders and waterers arranged and ready to go. Finally, we were then ready to get the birds moved out. We were thankful that it did not rain the first night they were out. It usually takes them about 24 hours to get their new surroundings figured out and after that they do pretty well. The following picture is of the 4 wheeler and wagon. This is one of our most used pieces of equipment we have on the farm next to our Bobcat loader. On the wagon are the waterers and water and feed buckets.

taking feeders and waterers out

Next are the chicken pens all lined up and ready for the birds. We have five pens lined up here. They have chicken wire around the front half and aluminum on the back half. This allows for them to be able to get out of the rain if necessary, but also into the sunshine. They have no floors in them so they do have the opportunity to forage for grasses and bugs. The pens get moved once a day to fresh grass. You may also notice a white furry creature in the picture. That is our guard dog.

chicken pens lined up

Sampson, is our Great Pyrenees guard dog. We got him as a pup and he has lived out with the chickens ever since. His job is to guard the birds from any predators. In the past we have had problems with anything from owls, skunks, raccoons, opossoms, and fox getting into our chicken pens and causing trouble. Ever since we have had Sampson we have not had any predator problems. For that we are thankful. When we go out to feed the chickens he is standing by their pens waiting for us to feed him. He really likes to be played with, but caution is needed as he is a very large dog and could probably knock me down if he took me off guard.

Sampson

The birds were finally taken out to pasture and put into the pens. They soon get used to the routine of getting moved every morning.

chickens on pasture

Then, on Friday we got our next batch of chicks in. These birds change so fast. The above photo is the chicks at 3 weeks and the below are they day old chicks that came on Friday. 

second batch of chicks

This time of year there is something new everyday!

 

-Renae