Friday, August 19, 2011

Moving the Tractor & Poo

Moved the chicken tractor to another part of the field this morning, it was a distance so I had to let the chicks out first (insert more Yakety Sax...).

Thanks Crows!
I was just starting to think that you could argue that you were ensuring your birds were not contacting wild birds (and thus could "range" them) by either watching over them, or having some sort of bird-scarer. When I looked up and noticed the giant hawk circling. I wouldn't have even noticed if the hawk hadn't flown too close to a nest and pissed off two crows who were busy dive-bombing it and kept it right away from my chickens!

So the kids and I very quickly started running around collecting up all the little chickens.

This horse poo is a few days
old and in just a few moments
the birds have spread it all over
looking for tasty fly larva

This picture depicts the biggest benefit of ranging your birds.
  1. Any worms that may have been in there have now been killed. Part of the worm cycle is for the larva to be ingested by a new host, or even original host, to live and reproduce in their digestive tract. This happens when the host grazes near manure and snuffles the worms up with the grass. Spreading the poop out like this kills the larva by exposing it to sunlight. I frequently go into the fields and do this manually with the rake.
  2. Fly control! Maggots can't hatch into flies if they aren't around to do it.
  3. Free food for the chickens. (I'll do another post about costs)

 The chickens don't need to be outside the tractor in order to go through some nice cow-pies. As a warning, they do get really dirty pecking through there!

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