112 New Additions on the Farm

Welcome to 112 brand new chicks! We have a new flock from McMurray Hatchery, including Rhode Island Reds, Americanas, and a mix of heavy brown egg layers. They are cozy in the brooder under a red lamp and on a heating pad. Neshima spent a good hour hanging out with them today and took this photo.

To make way for the babies, we had to move our mature layers into their new hoop coop. This is a low cost, lightweight, all season structure. It consists of a 2×4 frame of rot resistant lumber measuring 12 ft by 6 ft. We have 5 pieces of 10 foot electrical conduit bent into 6-foot hoops using a “Quick Hoops Bender.” These are attached to the frame with pipe clamps and covered with a skin of 2″x4″ welded wire fence followed by bubble wrap and greenhouse plastic. Roosts made of hardwood garden stakes are built off of the 2×4 frame as well as nesting “shelves.” The whole thing is set up on a perimeter of 10 straw bales for the winter, allowing us to fill in the cavity with bedding hay as the winter progresses. In the summer months, the hoop coop can be easily moved by one person to fresh pasture. In the summer, the greenhouse plastic is covered with shade cloth.