Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Riemer Family Farm in the News

The Brodhead Free Press ran a really nice article on us and our farm in the paper today! We are thankful to them for getting our name out to more readers. July is Beef month and they wanted to highlight a local farm raising beef on a small sustainable farm. If you are in the Brodhead area pick up a copy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chicken Tractor!

We searched long and hard for a perfect "chicken tractor" design and in the end did what everyone else we could find on the internet did...used what they had and made it work as a shelter for their meat chickens.

There is no single way to build a portable bottomless chicken shelter. We raised our first 30 Cornish-Cross chickens in it, and will be raising our next batch soon. I must say the meat is very good! We pulled the shelter to the next fresh plot of pasture once, or twice a day depending on their size (you would be amazed at the poo a large chicken can produce)!

This is chicken tractor version 1.1. It never made it into circulation. Farming is a lot of trial and error sometimes.

This is the tractor we used. I must say Bryce was pretty brilliant with this one! It was made out of the abundance of scrap wood we have around the farm and 1/2" hardware netting. We secured the netting to the frame and installed a simple latch to remove the plywood door on one end. We drilled a hook for the water and secured a heavy duty tarp over about 2/3 of the shelter to protect from sun and weather.

Bryce also installed metal fence posts into the 4 corners and strung electric wire all the way around about 8" above the ground. We then connected the electric wire to the steer pen wire and had a heck of a shock for any raccoon that might come after a chicken dinner! We surprisingly did not see any evidence of predators coming near the chicken tractor.

We hope to use this shelter for many rounds of birds and continue to improve on our design in the future to raise even more chickens for our customers.