Saturday, January 7, 2012

the chickloo worked great!

All 15 youngins made it through their first night, and it dropped below 30 degrees! The rest of the gand will join them soon. I'm proud of Steve, Molly, and I (mostly Steve) for putting together this simle structure to raise thirty meat birds in the middle of winter at low cost!

And when those birds are in freezer camp, I am going to turn it into a cold frame with a plastic top for kale and lettuce! Fresh chicken over roasted kale in winter, I'm upping my game!

26 Comments:

Blogger Meredith A said...

Good luck hope they thrive. Are you not worried about predator or wind proofing it?

January 7, 2012 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It is windproof, it's a giant stack of haybales held together with metal stakes! There is air that flows through the top for ventilation, but the birds are 5 inches tall in a 4 foot tall haypile. they are in the no-wind zone.

Predators are a crapshoot. Hoping for the best. All holes are plugged up and the roof is mighty heavy.

January 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

That's a neat structure! Where'd you get the idea for it? I love that you'll be turning it into a cold frame when the chicks are gone. How long do you expect it to last, and will it become compost or something else when it's no longer functional?

January 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

hoping for the best with someone else's investment? You could always fence around the structure, cover it with net/wire, and if you really want to start and end with the same amount of birds put a galvanized metal apron down. Crapshoot is the product of a failure to prepare or prevent. Hope it turns out successfuly for all involved.

January 7, 2012 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Where did you get your chicks? I asked at the feed store yesterday and she had never heard of them. She had just gotten some order forms for chicks from a place in Texas and I asked her if they had FR and she didn't see them. She's going to check into it. But if I can order stright from the source I'd rather.

They sure do look nice and warm in their new home. So will they be staying in there the whole time or will they have a little run later when they get bigger? Just wondering. And I am curious about how long it'll take to get them to butcher size. Will be watching to see.

January 7, 2012 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

I meant the roof being windproof, the wood on the metal gives the appearance its there to hold it down.

January 7, 2012 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

And you'll get to compost the hay later on, too! Did you calculate about how much space there is inside and how long you have until you expand it or move them to another area? Glad to hear the first night went well.

January 7, 2012 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

What a great idea!

January 7, 2012 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I think it looks great! Good luck with it!

I know this may be out of line, but after reading back through your readers comments & again here on this post, I noticed that certain people almost always leave a negative comment or critism. I assume they think they are trying to help but it always comes across to me as nasty. I don't know how you put up with it. Just feeling a bit protective of you I guess, keep up the great work. I absolutely loved yesterday's post.

January 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I think it looks great! Good luck with it!

I know this may be out of line, but after reading back through your readers comments & again here on this post, I noticed that certain people almost always leave a negative comment or critism. I assume they think they are trying to help but it always comes across to me as nasty. I don't know how you put up with it. Just feeling a bit protective of you I guess, keep up the great work. I absolutely loved yesterday's post.

January 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger auntgrandma said...

Very good idea! I would be worried about preditors also, but all farmimg all animal raising is is a crap shoot. If the racoons or fox or whatever doesn't get them, something else might happen. I know, been there,done that all. Good luck with them.Enjoy them. I really do not get the constant harranging and negitives that always comes up in this space either, Not at all helpful. It's all just a part of the lottery we call life.

January 7, 2012 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Ingenious idea, Jenna! It looks like it's working great! I'll have to try the idea out next winter. :)

January 7, 2012 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Freedom Rangers are from FreedomRangerHatchery.com in PA!

Meredith, I hop you have a wonderful day.

January 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Misty said...

I have an electrified netting fence with step in fiberglass posts that works great around enterprises like this. It's what I use in the summer with meat chickens to keep out the raccoons and possums. You can hook it to a battery out in the field to electrify it, too.

This summer a raccoon learned to scale the wall of the chicken coop and climb through an open window near the top. (There were raccoon prints on the glass inside.) Just wondering if you have some extra welded wire or something similarly strong that you could cover the ventilation hole with to prevent break ins? If you only have a small piece just big enough to cover the hole, use some coat hangers to fashion giant hair pins to pin the wire to the hay bales?

January 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Haven't ever had predator issues in fall or winter, only sping and summer. But if something happens, rest easy, and I will bulk up the defenses.

January 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

As I said before, criticism, comments, suggestions, anything is welcome if there's a real person on the other side. All comments in this post are welcome.

January 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Just a roof concern from the pictured, is the leather of metal on the high side ( left side of photo) going under the next ( lower) layer instead over it? Just worried you might get some melting snow dripping on the birds even though water should run the grooves and off the ends. Probably ok but just want to keep them as dry as possible.

Tony in Asheville

January 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Should say layer not leather. Smartphone changed my words

January 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Looks great Jenna! And I totally agree about animal raising being a crap shoot of sorts...We raise chickens and they are in a coop that is within a fenced in yard with fencing made of sixfoot chain link...and we have still had issues.

And I gotta agree with Carol and Auntgrandma...

January 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger auntgrandma said...

I had 24 full grown out cronish cross birds in a kennel with a roof and the works. One day before we were to harvest them, something, we think a racoon, managed to get in a killed them all. Not killed and eaten just killed. I had 2 50 lb feed sacks of carnage to deal with. I have no idea if I will ever try that adventure again as it has taken 3 years to get over the upset. I was home alone that week,no help.

January 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

I might not worry about raccoons this time of year -- in a normal year-- but this winter is anything but normal. Yesterday it was 53 degrees and sunny here (and abso-freakin' gorgeous!), when it is usually a deep freeze and mounds of snow and ice. I've seen scores of 'coons laying dead in the road because of the warmer weather. (I even saw a honey bee yesterday!)

Probably don't need to worry about hawks since your birds are under cover, but I have a beautiful Red-Tailed Hawk hanging around that's been picking my chickens off one at a time. Sitting in the tree today, it was almost as big around as one of my big roosters, but taller.

January 7, 2012 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

Jenna ,
Very interesting structure you've got there. I like the reusable aspect of it . While Meredith may raise a good point about preditors( and I have to admit I wondered about the open front in an unfenced area myself), I don't think that anyone can doubt that care that you put into your animals. I hope it works well for you.

TinaH

January 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Mary R. said...

Meredith A:
I am not sure if you saw a post awhile back, but the investors helped build the chickloo. Thus, you can be rest assured that the investors are well aware of the status of their investment. It is up to them - not you - worry about their investment.
Please stop being critical of my (our) friend, Jenna.

January 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Looks great Jenna!! Love this idea, I'm wondering if it might work for our RIR chicks from Feb - spring when I can get into the barn and turn it into a coop (we'll just be moving and the barn currently has no hydro), I'd love not to have to share my garage with chickens again like we do now ;) Awesome that the chick investors got to help out with this too!!

January 7, 2012 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

@Mary R.: AMEN!!

January 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM  

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