If you've followed us from the beginning you might recall that we started our farm with a flock of 200 laying chicks with the hopes of producing lots of pastured eggs. After relentless predator issues at our old leased pasture land, we ended up selling the flock and put our egg production on hold.
This past August, we dipped our toes in the water again by purchasing another batch of laying chicks (this time only about 25). We wanted to be sure that our predator control was better this time around before committing to a production flock. Luckily we have not had issues this time around (we think that our living on site helps a lot).
Through the wintertime, our hens have been free ranging from a stationary coop in the barn, with plenty of access to fresh pasture, bugs and whatever else they get their little beaks on. While this made for delicious, healthy eggs, we prefer a rotational approach, so the pasture they eat and disturb has a chance to rest and rejuvenate itself. Additionally, we need to be able to move them to all parts of our field so they can follow our cows and sheep around, a few days behind, and spread the manure and help sanitize the pasture.
If you are familiar with Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm, you might have seen his moveable chicken trailers that he calls egg mobiles. We went to work on our very own egg mobile this past month. We found an old trailer on craigslist and added a wire-covered floor (so their manure can fall through to the pasture) and framed out the structure. We were able to repurpose scrap wood around the farm for most of the frame and used some of the endless aluminum siding around the farm for the walls.
This past week we moved the flock into their new digs and out to the field. Since then they've been frolicking their way across the pasture. The result will be happy chickens, healthy soils and tasty eggs.
Speaking of eggs, we are starting to have plenty available so just give us a call/email if you'd like to order any. They are available for pick up at the farm and we are considering adding occasional "egg drops" in town. If you would like to receive notifications of if/when we'll be doing these drops, please email us or send us a message on our contact page.