The Farmers-Shail &
Comparison of models
Trials and Tribulations
Room for improvement
Changes/ Improvements we will make in the future (those
that are not
mentioned in the solutions for
improving sustainability page)
- No roosts in the chicken tractors. Roosts add too much
weight and make the grass below the roosts harder to access. We will probably
only have birds in the chicken tractors during the dry season to avoid forcing
them to stand in puddles or keeping them close to ground if it floods.
- Putting only two doors on the CT. Four doors adds too
- Cheaper plastic roofing on the next CTs to reduce costs.
I chose the more expensive roofing because it is supposed to be more UV
resistant and last 10 or more years. At the time the sales rep told me the
people tend to replace the cheap roofing every year or two. However, since
then I have noticed the cheap roofing on many out buildings that are
considerably older than 1 year and it doesn’t appear that the roofing has been
- Bigger wheels on the Hoop House
- A subfloor that moves with the HH for catching feces
- Small doors (1-3) on each side of the HH so that when
we move the fencing for a new pasture enclosure, we can keep the HH in one
place while opening a new entrance each day. This way the chickens will have a
new entrance each day rather then every few days and will reduce the wear on
the ground immediately outside the door.
- Young birds and meat chickens will be in CTs only, while
egg layers will be in the HH. Young birds are too small to be corralled by the
electric fencing and they are too vulnerable to hawks. CTs will be used to
start egg layers and for the entire pasturing of meat birds. Due to the extra
space and weight of nest boxes we will only use the HH, which is on wheels,
for egg production.
- Try Cornish cross, Cornish roaster, standard Cornish and
Barred Rock varieties side by side to compare viability of each for meat
production. We also want to try turkeys and geese. Geese can be raised on a
diet that has a much higher percent grass(80-90%) making them a more
sustainable meat product for our region. The challenge will be in creating a
market for goose meat.
- Make HH predator proof so fencing doesn’t have to go
around it, which will give the chickens more forage area.