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

Poultry isolation coop update

chicken ark converted to isolation chamber

The new isolation coop worked well at housing chickens the night before processing and making the catching part easy and trouble free.

Some folks use a killing cone to hold their poultry upside down before the final cut, but we've found that a 5 gallon bucket with a hole cut in the bottom works just as well.

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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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Kind of off the subject, but have you done any research on open air chicken coops? I'm reading a book by Prince Woods about it:

It sure seems unorthodox to me to leave a flock so exposed in the winter, but the ventilation part makes sense. Just wondered if you'd looked into it and had any thought.

Comment by Phil Wed Jul 13 18:40:16 2011

Until this year, we kept our laying flock in tractors year round. Mark semi-enclosed their roosting area with a bit of old carpet on the side and a tarp on top, and they seemed to be fine. They did look a bit chilly when snow covered the ground and they had to get their feet cold to run around, but we didn't have any other problems. We moved away from the tractors for other reasons. Our current coops are pretty airy too --- we definitely don't go for the sealed up approach!

I'm curious to hear what you think of the book. I've been poking my way through Success With Baby Chicks by the same publishing place for months --- it's got good information, but is pretty dry. Different author, though.

Comment by anna Wed Jul 13 19:08:21 2011
It's not to bad. The language is a bit dated (it's from the 20's I think) but you can tell Prince has sense of humor.
Comment by Phil Wed Jul 13 20:59:36 2011
Thanks for the followup! I'll add it to my reading list. :-)
Comment by anna Thu Jul 14 06:23:34 2011

Phil's comment is timely; I was just about to send this email but I couldn't find your address on the site.

Did you see this article from Permaculturist Paul Wheaton on a better alternative to chicken tractors? http://

I am still reading through your back articles so perhaps you'd moved on from tractors. (Update: Seems you have.)

By the way, told my mother-in-law about your "chicken nipples" and she's very interested :-) She has about 200 chickens and will be growing to about 500. She has hers in a coop though; I'm telling her about Paul's ideas.

I'm at her homestead today; woke up at 4:30a from "Bull of the Woods" crowing "hello" to us. It's nice out here, I may join her some day.

Comment by Chris de Vidal Sat Jul 16 11:15:52 2011

Great link! He does seem to have come up with a system remarkably similar to the rotational chicken pastures we use now, although we like to have permanent coops with deep bedding to preserve as much of the manure as possible for our garden. (And to minimize our work yet more.)

Thanks for spreading the word about our chicken waterers! I'm glad you commented instead of emailing --- I think many of our readers enjoy seeing information like this from other readers.

Comment by anna Sat Jul 16 13:50:44 2011

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