Poultry

With keeping chickens comes the responsibility of providing them adequate housing. This article covers important considerations for buying or building the  perfect chicken house for your poultry.

Because many plans for building poultry housing are already freely available on the internet, this article will concern itself more with what's required to keep poultry safe, happy and productive in terms of space and amenity requirements. Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to build, modify or purchase a chicken coop that’s suitable to your poultry’s needs and will keep them safe and contented.

What makes poultry happy/unhappy?
Research now provides a very good idea of what makes poultry happy and productive. Interestingly, the findings closely reflect the behaviours of the wild red jungle fowl of Southern Asia, from which all domesticated poultry are descended. In the wild, red jungle fowl form small, complex social groups. Much of their waking time is spent foraging over large distances, taking dust baths and preening themselves. Prior to laying they seek secluded spots for nest building and at night, they fly up into trees to avoid predators and roost. 

An ideal chicken coop for keeping chickens

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For free-range laying hens, it seems stocking them at 10,000 birds per hectare does not dramatically increase bird stress, provided the farm is well-managed and there is sufficient indoor space for the birds to rest after foraging or dust bathing.
 
The latest paper, still awaiting publication, to come out of the Poultry CRC’s research project Outdoor stocking density in free-range laying hens: Effects on welfare ind
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A chicken tractor (or arc) is a cage that can be moved over a paddock or garden beds. It is half-way between a fixed chicken coop and permanent free-ranging.
 
The chickens have access to fresh pasture and insects, but are also confined to a certain area. The term “chicken tractor” was first used by Permaculture co-founder Bill Mollison to describe the effect of putting chickens in a small open-bottomed cage, and allowing them to till and fertilise the garden, instead of using a tractor.
 
Since then the meaning of the term has broadened.
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Chickens are a great addition to the family and will contribute in many ways, such as producing eggs, fertilising your garden and devouring food  scraps.

The most trouble-free chickens are bought from a reliable commercial supplier and are vaccinated and at the point of lay (16–18 weeks).

Chickens need to be kept in a well-drained and well-ventilated pen and it’s vital to make the pen safe from all potential predators. 

If you wish to keep chickens inside their pen you need to clip one wing’s feathers, not both, to prevent them from flying. 

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Hearing the clucks and murmurs of a contented hen happily scratching for grubs and insects in the leaf litter under a tree or hedgerow can be one of the more satisfying moments of small farm living.

Being able to collect an egg from her each day is surely the icing on the cake.

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On some free range egg and broiler (meat bird) farms the outdoor range is a fenced open field with no overhead cover for birds. This does not allow the birds the opportunity to seek shade/shelter while in the range. The number of birds in the range depends on the availability of overhead cover and it is possible to get the birds out of the shed and improve their ranging ability by installing shaded areas.

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New Forum Topics

Topic Replies Last post Forum
932 Tractors
bygaz on Fri, 07/13/2012 - 13:53
13
by jhonygee
Tue, 11/03/2020 - 22:57
General Forum
7170 Orphan Lambs and Foxes
byhlcrouch on Thu, 10/01/2020 - 20:10
2
by hlcrouch
Tue, 10/06/2020 - 09:05
Sheep
6966 Agistment
bymarieoc on Sun, 09/27/2020 - 19:52
3
by admin
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 17:53
Livestock
6699 Should I till, use harrows or just let it be?
byTheOldChurchEstate on Thu, 09/10/2020 - 18:40
1
by admin
Thu, 09/17/2020 - 17:03
Farming Help
6613 Hello everyone
byGordon on Tue, 09/08/2020 - 14:32
1
by admin
Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:10
Fencing
6573 Do I need to fence off my dam with cows?
bymawan on Fri, 09/04/2020 - 13:57
1
by admin
Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:12
Farming Help
6568 Kiwi wanting to sheep farm in Australia
byNikita on Thu, 09/03/2020 - 09:40
1
by admin
Mon, 09/07/2020 - 11:23
Sheep
6565 New sheep about to lamb, not vaccinated or wormed. What do I do please?
bySarah B on Mon, 08/31/2020 - 14:57
2
by Sarah B
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 16:34
Sheep
5870 Do lambs need to be treated prior to Consumption?
byBushwick on Sun, 10/06/2019 - 22:15
5
by Steve89
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 09:44
Sheep
6523 Best Tree Crops for Victoria
byOllie Douglas on Fri, 08/21/2020 - 23:05
2
by Steve89
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 09:38
General Forum
6548 Too much to learn not enough time
byTubs on Tue, 08/25/2020 - 23:41
3
by Steve89
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 09:25
New Members
6522 New to cattle ownership, need some help and advice.
byrobcarver on Fri, 08/21/2020 - 18:34
3
by admin
Fri, 08/28/2020 - 09:23
Farm skills & knowledge
3174 Cattle yard suppliers
byPGR912 on Thu, 03/09/2017 - 10:51
7
by PGR912
Tue, 08/25/2020 - 13:41
General Forum
6282 Farm security
byweekenders on Mon, 06/22/2020 - 12:51
5
by John@LandWatch
Sat, 08/22/2020 - 11:59
3275 Agistment Rates
bymrmrsmrb on Thu, 11/09/2017 - 17:14
7
by hiremaths
Fri, 08/21/2020 - 07:49
General Forum
3319 Raising cattle for meat, how many per acre
bystevo7 on Mon, 01/29/2018 - 10:25
6
by AuroraDaniels
Thu, 08/20/2020 - 12:19
Farming Help
6517 Tank and Bore vs Town Water
byrobynscordilis… on Wed, 08/19/2020 - 13:12
1
by admin
Thu, 08/20/2020 - 10:26
6518 Fattening steers
bymarkb1624 on Wed, 08/19/2020 - 17:45
1
by markb1624
Wed, 08/19/2020 - 18:16
Farming Help
6466 Pasture
byAlfie on Mon, 08/17/2020 - 16:34
1
by admin
Tue, 08/18/2020 - 11:52
3800 Bad experience with agistment
byKaz on Mon, 06/18/2018 - 18:19
4
by cptj
Mon, 08/17/2020 - 04:10
General Forum

Active forum topics

Topic Replies Last post Forum
932 Tractors
bygaz on Fri, 07/13/2012 - 13:53
13
by jhonygee
Tue, 11/03/2020 - 22:57
General Forum
7170 Orphan Lambs and Foxes
byhlcrouch on Thu, 10/01/2020 - 20:10
2
by hlcrouch
Tue, 10/06/2020 - 09:05
Sheep
6966 Agistment
bymarieoc on Sun, 09/27/2020 - 19:52
3
by admin
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 17:53
Livestock
6699 Should I till, use harrows or just let it be?
byTheOldChurchEstate on Thu, 09/10/2020 - 18:40
1
by admin
Thu, 09/17/2020 - 17:03
Farming Help
6613 Hello everyone
byGordon on Tue, 09/08/2020 - 14:32
1
by admin
Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:10
Fencing
6573 Do I need to fence off my dam with cows?
bymawan on Fri, 09/04/2020 - 13:57
1
by admin
Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:12
Farming Help
6568 Kiwi wanting to sheep farm in Australia
byNikita on Thu, 09/03/2020 - 09:40
1
by admin
Mon, 09/07/2020 - 11:23
Sheep
6565 New sheep about to lamb, not vaccinated or wormed. What do I do please?
bySarah B on Mon, 08/31/2020 - 14:57
2
by Sarah B
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 16:34
Sheep
5870 Do lambs need to be treated prior to Consumption?
byBushwick on Sun, 10/06/2019 - 22:15
5
by Steve89
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 09:44
Sheep
6523 Best Tree Crops for Victoria
byOllie Douglas on Fri, 08/21/2020 - 23:05
2
by Steve89
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 09:38
General Forum
6548 Too much to learn not enough time
byTubs on Tue, 08/25/2020 - 23:41
3
by Steve89
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 09:25
New Members
6522 New to cattle ownership, need some help and advice.
byrobcarver on Fri, 08/21/2020 - 18:34
3
by admin
Fri, 08/28/2020 - 09:23
Farm skills & knowledge
3174 Cattle yard suppliers
byPGR912 on Thu, 03/09/2017 - 10:51
7
by PGR912
Tue, 08/25/2020 - 13:41
General Forum
6282 Farm security
byweekenders on Mon, 06/22/2020 - 12:51
5
by John@LandWatch
Sat, 08/22/2020 - 11:59
3275 Agistment Rates
bymrmrsmrb on Thu, 11/09/2017 - 17:14
7
by hiremaths
Fri, 08/21/2020 - 07:49
General Forum
3319 Raising cattle for meat, how many per acre
bystevo7 on Mon, 01/29/2018 - 10:25
6
by AuroraDaniels
Thu, 08/20/2020 - 12:19
Farming Help
6517 Tank and Bore vs Town Water
byrobynscordilis… on Wed, 08/19/2020 - 13:12
1
by admin
Thu, 08/20/2020 - 10:26
6518 Fattening steers
bymarkb1624 on Wed, 08/19/2020 - 17:45
1
by markb1624
Wed, 08/19/2020 - 18:16
Farming Help
6466 Pasture
byAlfie on Mon, 08/17/2020 - 16:34
1
by admin
Tue, 08/18/2020 - 11:52
3800 Bad experience with agistment
byKaz on Mon, 06/18/2018 - 18:19
4
by cptj
Mon, 08/17/2020 - 04:10
General Forum

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