Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Raising Poultry

I am an old fashioned farm girl at heart, I always have been. I love the outdoors, hard work, animals, anything homey.

I started raising chickens last year, but had some disasters in the form of neighborhood animals and lost the lot. This year I lost quite a few due to my own pet, so we went to a great deal of trouble of building a poultry pen in the back yard near an existing shed which we are in the process of converting into a hen house.

This is the pen from the front, behind me is our house. (Excuse the yard, it's messy and still a a work in progress.)

What I like about it's positioning is that while the birds get lots of full sunlight during the day, there is also plenty of shelter on both sides for winter months and summer storms.

Inside the pen we've cut a hole leading into the hen house, with a shelter covering the low ramp and a bale of hay to provide additional wind reprieve.

The younger chicks tend to hang out under the ramp at the moment.

From the inside the doorway looks like this:

We need to enlarge it a bit for the Turkey we've just acquired.

We are still working on the inside of the shed to make it a poultry palace. :) It's still got a few of my things in it, but we have plans to build nesting boxes and install permanent heat lamps.

The area seen at the top of the hen house in the photo above as well as the one below are actually covered in thick Plexiglas which allows some ambient light, but no drafts.

These are the temporary shelves for the birds to roost on, but we are building better roosts in the next couple of weeks.

The light is movable, and far enough away from the smaller birds as not to overheat them or cause a fire. It encourages them to all come inside after dark, as well as providing the needed heat until they are fully feathered out.

The turkey hasn't shown much inclination toward social activity so far, though he isn't afraid of being handled. I think he is still traumatized from being separated from his flock. I have no experience in raising Turkeys so far, so I am reading up like crazy and worry like a mother hen. (pardon the pun.)

I also acquired two new Chickens yesterday, but I don't know what breed they are yet. Love their floppy heads. :) These guys wouldn't roost inside, I hope they change their minds come cold weather.

Overall I am a happy chick...(pun again) I have my little bitty corner farm-like area, and I'm as pleased as pie. ;)

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