Skip to main content

NC State Extension

Perry-Winkle Farm

en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Photos and text by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

Pastured Poultry Production

Page 7

Mike and Cathy added chickens to their farm in 2002 for a variety of reasons. They recognized the value of animal manure but didn’t want to import manure from off-farm. They also knew that the chickens could play a role in pest management by eating insects and weeds. Mike is responsible for managing the chickens.

Mike and Cathy constructed two egg-mobiles, or moveable hen houses. The hens are closed inside at night for protection from predators and allowed to roam during the day inside a large fenced enclosure. Predators include (but aren’t limited to!) stray dogs, foxes, possums, snakes, and raptors.

Egg-mobile on pasture

chickens on pasture

The hens act as gleaners – they are pastured in an area that was recently harvested so they can forage for insects, seeds, and weeds. They can also be pastured on cover crops. Portable fencing keeps them confined to the area. Perry-winkle uses electric poultry netting for their fence but they don’t electrify it. The birds rarely attempt to get out, probably because they realize how good they have it!

The chickens are rotated to new “pasture” every few weeks. It takes about 45 minutes to move the egg-mobile with the tractor and set up the new fencing.

Mike gives the hens antibiotic-free feed from a local mill to supplement their diet.

eggmobile

Cathy and Mike used their innovative building skills to construct their egg-mobiles. A hinged door provides easy access for harvesting eggs. This egg-mobile was built on an old wagon chassis.

mike with eggs

Mike collected these eggs through the hinged door which provides direct access to the laying boxes.

interior eggmobile

Laying boxes along the far wall help facilitate egg gathering but the hens also find other places to lay their eggs just to keep Mike on his toes!

Mike collects eggs

The hens lay about 5 eggs a week per hen. Eggs are harvested year-round, although production slows in winter. The eggs are cleaned before going to market.

chickens on pasture

Mid-March shot of one of the eggmobiles on last year’s pepper crop. These girls have pretty much cleaned up this area and will soon be moved.

temp

All the hens at Perry-winkle are heirloom breeds such as Black Austrolope, Buff Orphington, Barred Rock, and Rhode Island Red. These breeds are well-suited for foraging outdoors. This photo shows a light-colored Buff Orphington and a Rhode Island Red hen.

temp

This is GB, who pretty much “rules the roost” at one of the eggmobiles!

Cathy with girls

Cathy checks the girls in May. This egg-mobile was built on an old pop-up camper body.

Mike rounding up renegade chickens

Sometimes the chickens are a little more free-range than you want them to be! These hens exploited a flaw in the fence but were quite happy to be guided back inside the enclosure.

next page

Page 7

 

Written By

Debbie Roos, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDebbie RoosExtension Agent, Agriculture - Sustainable / Organic Production Call Debbie Email Debbie N.C. Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center
Page Last Updated: 8 years ago
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close