The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Automatic board flipper that helps chickens forage for bugs and worms

worm and bug chicken feeder

Tilting up the old boards I used to attach the chicken wire is like an instant buffet of worms and bugs for our flock.

Part of my new routine when I collect eggs in the evening is to lift a few of the boards up for a minute or two while the chickens scratch and peck for fresh crawling snacks.

It's got me thinking about some sort of gizmo that lifts up a board or piece of cardboard long enough to let the chickens forage.....maybe wait till nightfall to reset it so that it can be ready to provide fresh worms and bugs the next day.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I love this idea. I haven't gotten around to it but I have been thinking of laying down some old boards and miscellaneous junk that I can lift up every now and then for the hens. I am always impressed by the bugs that collect under bricks and boards and even thick hay.

It would be cool to make this automatic, but then I wouldn't get to watch and delight in the frenzy :) I'd like to know if you come up with something.

Comment by Sara Fri Apr 15 20:48:17 2011

I know what you mean about finding critters under anything flat on the ground. I've been letting big cardboard boxes presoak outside in preparation for making kill mulches with them, and whenever I lift them up, I find literally dozens of worms! It seems like there should be an easy way to tap into that potential for the chickens.

I have to say that I also agree with you about not wanting to miss seeing the hens' joy. I think I throw them worms more for my sake than for their own. :-)

Comment by anna Sat Apr 16 09:27:00 2011

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