Broilers and Layers

In recent years I have been running my layer flock in the same fencing with our broiler chicken tractors.  This presents certain problems but solves some others.  In short, the layers always seem to find a way to get where they don’t belong but the layers clean up the feed the broilers leave behind. They also knock down the forage ahead of the tractors as they hunt for insects.  That kind of helps when moving the tractors but it slightly soils the clean sheets we give the broilers each day.

Layers

Anyway, we have run this way for several years and I always swear I won’t do it anymore.  But it’s kind of nice to only have one set of fence to move.

School’s Out For Summer

It’s time for our planned summer break.  The broilers are all in freezers or customer bellies.  Just pullets and a few turkeys on pasture.  Our daily workload has dropped significantly.  Now all we have to do is feed and water in the morning, milk the goats and just check everybody a couple of times and we’re set.  Well, we have to soak the hog wallow a couple of times too.  This accomplishes two things; drains the hot water out of the 100 yard long hose so they will have cool water to drink again and gives them a cool place to pig it up.

Now, when I get up before the sun I don’t have to spend 15-20 minutes moving chicken tractors, feeding and watering.  I just open the chicken house door, feed there, water the rabbits, shower and head to the office.

We have waited all spring for this day.  We partied like it was 1999…well we watched the new True Grit and ate pizza after the kids went to bed.  Now we’ll tick off the days till we get our last batch of broilers mid-August.  We’re thinking about scrapping our big order for fall Cornish Cross chicks and ordering a variety of alternative broilers just to try them side by side.  We thought Kosher King, S&G Heritage White, Freedom Rangers and Moyer’s K-22.  Let me know what you think in the comments section.  Also, give me suggestions for alt. broilers just in case I am missing a good option.

Just a side note, I took a hog panel off of one of the hoop chicken tractors to give the pullets a bit of extra shade.  They seemed to appreciate the shade, I appreciate how many different ways I can use those chicken tractors.