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Worst chicken tractor ever!

old first generation of chicken ark when we didn't know any better


This old picture of our very first chicken tractor makes me cringe today.

Even though it's twice the square footage per bird that Joel Salatin and other sources on the internet use, it feels too crowded and I would only put 2 full sized birds in it today.
chicken handsome
See that white plastic I used for a covering? It was filtering enough light to make the chickens stop laying eggs. It took us weeks to figure that out.

The nest boxes really needed an easy access hatch and that ancient, old fashioned, gravity waterer was exasperating.



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What is the connection between light and egg-laying about???
Comment by J Thu Sep 15 21:02:11 2011

The way I figured it out one day I just happened to read the back of one of the feed bags and it clearly said if you want your hens to keep laying during the winter you need to give them this much light.....and that's when it hit me.....We got our first generation of hens already grown up and laying......but now they hardly ever lay, which could be the result of that white plastic I used for a cover because my mom gave us a roll of it and it was handy.

Once I stopped filtering their light with that plastic they started laying almost every day.

Comment by mark Fri Sep 16 16:14:20 2011
My memory is really terrible, so I can't remember the exact timeline, but I'm not entirely convinced the problem was the white plastic. My understanding is that even low level light for fourteen hours a day is enough to keep your chickens at peak production. It's possible, in retrospect, that our chickens just stopped laying due to the trauma of being moved to the farm --- they often do that after transport. But Mark likely remembers the events better!
Comment by anna Fri Sep 16 19:43:58 2011

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime