Thursday, July 29, 2004

del.icio.us

del.icio.us is a social bookmarking tool. You can post bookmarks there and organize by categories. The cool thing is that you can see others who are bookmarking the same URLs and you can subscribe to people's bookmark lists via RSS feeds. Here are my bookmarks, and the RSS feed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Poultry Netting

We raise organic meat chickens for our family to eat and to sell to other families. They are easy to raise and take only 8 weeks to get to butchering size. We average about 4lbs birds when they are ready to eat. They spend the first 4 weeks inside under heat lights and the last 4 weeks outside.

We started off last year with the chicks in a plastic kids swimming pool with chicken wire over the top in our garage for the first 4 weeks and then to a fenced in area connected to our wood shed, which we used as a shelter for the birds, for the last 4.

I built a chicken coop for our layers last year, and built in a fenced off section for raising the young meat birds for the first 4 weeks. We have been using this space this year and it proves to be way better than the pool. We then built a chicken tractor for the last 4 weeks. A chicken tractor is a portable fenced in shelter that is half roofed in, that can be moved from section to section of land each day. The idea is the birds get to eat grass and bugs and their chicken shit helps things grow after they have moved on. Ours is 8 x 8 and 2.5 feet tall.

The chicken tractor was working well, but we had to move it a lot, and I was worried since a fox wiped out most of our layers in the middle of the day earlier this year. I had to put a strand of electric wire around the layers permanent run to keep the foxes out. Our batches of birds have gotten bigger, (75 now, 100 coming in August), and with the predator concern, we decided to install some portable fencing. Poultry netting. See how we set it up here.