Here's the scoop on our coop
These days we have 200 or so laying chickens in four chicken-appointed trailers. Our senior gals are making use of the 3 small horse trailers. Our new generation of ladies are in the "Behemoth"-- which is our large, repurposed, artichoke trailer, rigged with indoor nesting boxes and perches.
We are super happy with this setup. We keep these mobile trailers fixed in a permanent paddock and each few days rotate the pasture we give the layers access to. This gives our girls fresh grass, bugs and all the tasty pasture treats a happy, healthy chicken could hope for.
We use a step-on, electrified, portable chicken netting to enclose the featured pasture the ladies are permitted to forage. The fencing keeps the gals in, and the electricity (it's a low zap, but quite effective) keeps our stinker-goat team out. By rotating the netted yard of 1000 or so square feet every 3 or 4 days we can give about 45 days of pasture access before the chickens are back to their first station of land. This arrangement, with the trailers fixed inside a permanent paddock, with rotating their enclosed "pasture patches" has been a huge time saver while still offering the gals the best of grazing opportunities.
And some other little tidbits of information about our chicken-keeping enterprise? We add diatomaceous earth to the water as a natural parasite prevention and it helps keep the waterers free of algae. We also give gals also have access to a grit and free-choice kelp. And yep, sure do-- we do feed our girls an all-organic diet. We offer our ladies and their few rooster companions a soy-free grain from Modesto Millings, scraps from our kitchens and oodles of weeds each day.
The next plan for our girls is to add either fermented grain to their diet or sprouted fodder, but this is all still in the works... to be continued, but will share as we go!
Buy some of our farm fresh eggs!