Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Pullet Palais (Penitentiary)

As requested by Sharon, The Pitman's Pullet Penitentiary Post.

Beware they are not glamorous, stylish images!
The girls are doing well with their incarceration and hard labour all in the production of these.

The chookyard is a large prison type arrangement.

There are large gates on either end.
The chookyard is within the electrified garden fence.
There's just enough width between the two for the big dog to have made a nice racetrack around the hens!
It's very funny to see him running around and around with the little ones chasing him, oblivious to what it is he is obsessed with!

I use this old gate to place on top of the burning rubbish bin
to stop the crows from pulling all the contents out.
The ash from the burning bin is really useful for the hens to roll about in, it keeps the lice at bay.
We also put our firebox ash in their little hollowed out dust baths.

Looking to the other end of the yard.
There's a stay wire across the middle that I will need to hang shade cloth from for the summer heat.
 It took them only about three weeks to have the yard completely eaten out and barren,
I tried to keep the grass growing, with the sprinklers, but with the cooler weather and the chooks scratching, it was a bit of an impossible task.

 Instead they have a bale of lucerne hay to peck at to get green pick.
It's undercover in their little coop.

Inside the coop it's pretty ugly. The corrugated iron is from the old shed.
I've used the fold up quad/car ramps as one of them was run over in the driveway and can't be used anymore.
 See the weird bend in it?? The chooks like it to get up to their perches.

The perches are from old oregon windmill rods.

They go inside to access their nesting boxes. 
The doggies love coming in here as there's always a whiff of mice.
They dug out underneath this bale and had a few mice.
We aren't doing too badly in the mice department.

Unless I dole out the seed each morning and afternoon I have to use this feeder,
the chooks just push it out with their beaks and have it spread everywhere.
I'm going to get the boys to devise an alternative in the holidays. 
I've seen big bits of upright white pipe with a U shape on the end that the hens can't really scratch it all out of.

There's a little man gate in the u part of the boomerang shaped yard. Some of the young hens run backwards and forwards at night time trying to get in this way- hence the star post to prop the door open.

Inside the laying box we've put plastic containers, then I put a shallow layer of diatomaceous earth/clay - otherwise known as kitty litter!!!! 
I have used it for many many years. You have to look for the clay one, in Australia it's the Chandlers brand. If the chook poops in the nest or breaks the egg, the earth 'soaks' it up.
 It's always really clean. They scratch it out and I usually replace it at least a couple of times a year.

This young hen we were given by a friend has been egg bound a couple of times. We've had to squeeze the egg out for her. The first time I though I was going to break the egg.
Luckily, she's had no further problems for a few days.

To get to the eggs you just lift the lid. We need to make a cover over this though as even though the boys tested it with a hose, I've found that with the light rain there has been leakage in.

We extended the garden pipes into the yard and set up a trough. I need to make the big hose shorter as it's a waste of a good long hose in here. the other hoses on the timer are for the wobbler hoses.
I have a timer that will turn them on and off every 30 mins or whatever I set it at. I'm seriously worried about the chooks not having enough shade in summer.

The dogs like to help themselves to the chook's water haha!
 To get some shade on the coop in summer we've also planted some bamboo.
Fingers crossed it'll grow.

They do love being free from their enclosure, especially at the moment to get all the clover coming up.

They also love pecking at the saltbush hedge. 
I've heard that it will make sheep very tasty.

Miss Jaller being the flock guard dog!
I wonder about chickens?? hahaha!

1 comment:

  1. Jodie I don't know how I missed this post but this is seriously one chook run taj mahal! It is amazing! cant believe how quickly they reduced it to bare....I wonder if you made little segregated areas inside the run and rotationally grazed you might have more success. (clip their wings and only have a half height fence?)


Go on....speak up!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...