New Nest boxes

Now, forgive me if this looks crude.  The picture you are about to see represents 15 minutes worth of thought and actual work.  I needed a quick solution to hanging the nest boxes so I could continue moving the chicken tractor.  Three and a half 2x4s later…

The boxes are hanging from screws in the upper 2×4.  There are tarp straps holding the bases together so they don’t swing in the wind.  Everything seems to work fine but it’s suddenly quite a heavy chicken tractor.

I put part of an old tarp between the two nest boxes hoping to offer the hens a little privacy without adding much weight.

So, there you go.  There’s still room for feed and water in the shelter and there’s plenty of airflow.  I just need to make it a bit lighter.  Let me know if you have any ideas.

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New Layer House Prototype

I like the cow panel hoop chicken tractors so much I thought I would try my hand at making a layer house out of them.  This will solve several problems for me.  Primarily, I don’t want to clean out bedding in a layer house on pasture.  Also, I don’t want to use a tractor to move my layers.  This design has several drawbacks though.  First, it’s open on both sides.  An owl could fly right in and ruin my day.  Second, I have some concerns about the weather.  We’ll certainly keep them in a greenhouse over the winter.  Anyway, here it is.

The crossed 2x4s support the hoop and prevent it from swaying.  Then there are roost bars across the span.  I may need to put in two more 2x4s to prevent the roost bars from drooping.  I also may need to lower the roost bars a bit as the pullets grow.

Overall though, I really like it.  I plan to hang nest boxes off of one side or both.  For now these birds follow immediately after the chicken tractors and I move their house daily.

We had a bit of a circus rounding up the pullets in the greenhouse to move them out to pasture.  Everybody helped and after a little while, all birds were caught, their wing feathers were clipped and they were packed into crates for the big move to the alfalfa field.  Once there, we had a good time convincing these birds they needed to roost in the structure.  Oh well.  Keeps things interesting.

Now, it just so happens that I have a few Americauna pullets to spare.  If you know anyone interested in them, please let us know.

I’ll keep you posted on how the house works out.  We’re two days in.  So far…so good.