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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PST

Portable Poultry

Portable Poultry

Portable Poultry Fence

by Frank L. Knowlton, Oregon Agricultural College 1926

The portable fence described on this circular has been developed by the O. A. C. Poultry Husbandry department and successfully used by it for a number of years. Its use recommended in fencing brooder yards, small breeding pens, temporary pens for holding cockerels, or any small temporary pens that may be desired. Its chief advantage is the ease with which it may be removed, thus permitting the plowing and cultivation of the entire area which such pens have occupied. Plowing and cultivation of the ground upon which chickens are kept constitute one of the best known means of preventing soil contamination with the germs and eggs of the many poultry diseases and parasites which cause so much loss in the poultry business.

Construction of panels. In constructing these panels it is necessary to have a frame similar to that shown in the accompanying sketch. This frame can be made from any size planks not smaller than 2 by 6 inches. It should be suitably braced so that the corners will remain square, and firmly supported on boxes or tressels at about average work-bench height.

Roll onto the reel the wire to be used on the panels. Lay a 2” x 3” x 5’ 10” post through each of the two pair of notches. Unreel sufficient wire to reach the post farthest from the reel and staple the end of the wire firmly to the post. Draw back on the reel until the wire is stretched tight, then staple it to the post nearest the reel. Cut off the wire. Nail on the baseboard so that it will be two inches up from the bottoms of the posts. Nail on the diagonal braces. Take the panel from the frame and put on it the feet and their brace as shown in the accompanying drawing. The best way to construct these feet and their brace is to outline their shape with cleats nailed on the top of a table in such manner that when the two pieces of 2” by 3” and the 1” by 5” brace are laid on the table between these cleats they will occupy the same relative position they are to keep when nailed to the panel. By nailing the brace to the feet while they are thus held by the cleats this position will be retained, making it possible to put all three pieces on the panel at once. From the post to which the feet are nailed, saw off the 2-inch projection below the baseboard so that the completed panel will touch the ground in three places only, the two feet and the post at the other end.

Portable Poultry

Portable Poultry Range Shelter

State College of Washington 1940

The light, movable growing shelter is coming into more general use by poultry-men who brood for the first 8 or 10 weeks in large permanent brooder houses or in their laying houses and yet wish to rear their pullets on the ground. It makes possible the growing of these pullets on clean ground, free from contamination that exists around permanent houses. It provides an inexpensive method of relieving over-crowded conditions in the brooder house. Early hatched pullets may be transferred to the range shelter, thereby making the brooder house available for a second lot.

ADVANTAGES

Portable. An important feature of the range shelter described in this circular is that it is portable. Two men by inserting 2” by 4”s through the holes located just below the roost supports and next to the center uprights can easily pick up and move it from one location to another. Frequent moving of the shelter prevents excessive accumulation of droppings in its vicinity which are a menace to the health of the birds. Better use will be made by the birds of the natural green feed produced on the range if the houses are moved often. Portability is achieved by the use of light weight material such as cedar in the construction of the shelter and by building it of a size that is not unwieldy to handle. Building it small in size also has the added advantage of reducing the capacity of the shelter which makes it possible to scatter the pullet flock over the range. This also helps to reduce contamination. The Washington range shelter which is built 8 feet long and 7 feet wide will comfortably handle 100 White Leghorn pullets through to maturity. If the pullets are to be transferred to the laying house prior to 4 1/4 months of age the capacity is 125 birds.

Sanitary. This previously mentioned advantage if furthermore secured by the use of 1 1/2” mesh wire floor. This floor prevents the birds coming in contact with their droppings. Whenever the shelter is moved from one location on the range to another the droppings that have collected should be picked up immediately and removed to a location where birds are not allowed to range. This task should be done carefully and may be greatly facilitated by placing a small amount of straw on the ground where the house is to be placed.

Cool and Well Ventilated. The shelter is cool and well ventilated. The sides and ends are enclosed by wire only, thus allowing free circulation of air. The roof, however, comes down low enough on the sides to protect the birds on the roosts from winds. When used in early spring it is sometimes advisable to tack burlap or muslin over the wire sides. The shelter provides convenient shade from the sun during the day and a well ventilated roosting place at night.

Easy to Build. A fourth advantage is its simplicity of construction. Most poultrymen are sufficiently handy with tools to have no difficulty in constructing this shelter.

Inexpensive. It is a reasonable and economical unit to build yet it is durable. It is not easily damaged by moving, particularly when built in a small size as recommended, and will last for a long time.

Portable Poultry

DETAILS OF CONSTRUCTION

It is not essential that these plans be followed exactly but this shelter combines most ideally the numerous advantages of range shelters listed above. These advantages should be kept in mind when building.

After cutting the lumber to the desired dimensions, it is a good idea to paint it with some form of wood preservative which will preserve the wood as well as to help repel mites.

Floor. As shown by the plans, the Washington range shelter is 8 feet long and 7 feet wide. The framework of the floor should be made of 1” x 6” boards in order that 1 1/2” mesh 16 gauge poultry netting which is stretched over them for the floor will be high enough off the ground to give ample room for droppings to collect. In order that the wire may be stretched tightly and sagging prevented, a 1” x 6” should be placed the length of the floor through the center. Four 1” x 6”s, 3’-6’ long fitted in between the sides and center brace will help brace the sides. To keep the wire floor in good condition it is always well to have a couple of loose boards handy that may be laid on the range shelter floor when the caretaker needs to enter it.

Roof and Sides. An “A” shaped roof as shown in the plans provides good wind and rain protection. The peak should be 5 feet above the ground, sloping down within 2 feet of the ground which will require rafters 5’ 9” long. In order to keep the shelter light in weight the rafters are made of 1’ x 4” material. The top of the plate on which the rafters rest is 2 feet above the wire floor. The rafters are toe-nailed to the plate and are notched. The plate is constructed of 1” x 3” material and supported by 2” x 3”s in each corner and at the mid-point of the sides. The 2” x 3”s, at the front and back support the peak of the roof. The sides of the shelter are enclosed by 1” mesh poultry netting to keep out weasels and rats.

The first step in roofing the shelter is to stretch a 11’ 5” piece of 6’ wide 2” mesh poultry netting across the rafters on each side of the peak. Roofing paper is then applied starting at the eaves, going over the peak and down to the eaves on the other side, continuing this procedure until the roof is finished. Laths should be used to batten down the roofing paper to the rafters and eaves. The wire is used because it lends support to the paper and helps to prevent it from becoming easily torn. 6” shakes may be used for the roof in place of wire and roofing paper.

Doors. A wire door for the caretaker’s entrance should be constructed between the front 2” x 3”s. In the bottom part of this a trap door for the birds can be installed. This should be built with an automatic trip as shown in the plans which will release the door when the pullets jump on it. This makes it possible to close the pullets in at night to protect them from “varmints,” yet allows them to get out at dawn.

Perches. The perches should be installed at a height of 18” from the floor in the manner shown in the plans.

Spotlight On: People

Central Oregon Food and Farms

Central Oregon Food and Farms

Who is growing food in the high desert? How can you find it? And how can you contribute to creating a vibrant local food community in Central Oregon? Find out here! By consuming more Central Oregon grown food we keep money in our region, support local businesses, and have delicious, fresh food to eat.

Changing of Seasons

LittleField Notes: Changing of Seasons

by:
from issue:

We are blessed who are active participants in the life of soil and weather, crops and critters, living a life grounded in seasonal change. This talk of human connection to land and season is not just the rambling romantic musing of an agrarian ideologue. It is rather the result of participating in the deeply vital vocation that is farming and knowing its fruits first hand.

A Bad Day in Harmony

A Bad Day in Harmony

by:
from issue:

Gary, hoping that that was the lot, revved up the big yellow machine in eager anticipation but once again I called a halt and disappeared in the direction of the house. When I reappeared at the graveside holding a dead cat by the tail Gary shut the machine down completely, remained totally silent for what seemed like a long time, and then leaned out of the cab and with a look of mock concern on his face said in his dry manner, “Where did you say the wife and kids are?”

Rope Tricks

a short piece on rope tricks from the 20th anniversary Small Farmer’s Journal.

Typical Range Ride

Typical Range Ride

by:
from issue:

I head up the steep trail through the rocks and sagebrush behind our house. The smell of dewy sage fills my nostrils as my horse brushes the shrubs along the trail, and a horned lark flits up from her nest on the ground as we go by. A mother grouse bursts into the air and does her broken-wing act (her strategy to lead a predator away from her babies, who are scattering out through the grass).

How Much Land Does a Man Need

How Much Land Does a Man Need?

by:
from issue:

Close to the village there lived a lady, a small landowner, who had an estate of about three hundred acres. She had always lived on good terms with the peasants, until she engaged as her steward an old soldier, who took to burdening the people with fines. However careful Pahom tried to be, it happened again and again that now a horse of his got among the lady’s oats, now a cow strayed into her garden, now his calves found their way into her meadows — and he always had to pay a fine.

Great Oregon Steam Up

Great Oregon Steam-Up

by:
from issue:

I went to the Great Oregon Steam-Up over in Brooks, Oregon, near Salem. Lynn has been invited and has wanted to attend for years, but this time of year might very well be the busiest time of year for him. He’s always farming or writing or editing or painting or forecasting or businessing or just generally fightin’ the power, yo. It’s nuts, I don’t know how he does it all. So, when I told him I was going to go, he was very interested and wanted a good report.

Central Oregon Locavore Online Fundraiser

CENTRAL OREGON LOCAVORE NEEDS YOUR HELP! We at SFJ can relate.  Central Oregon Locavore is running a GoFundMe campaign, similar to our Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.  Follow the links to learn more about Locavore and to show your support. www.centraloregonlocavore.org www.gofundme.com/locavore Central Oregon Locavore works for an ecologically stable and socially just food system […]

Twain Under the Farm Spell

Twain Under the Farm Spell

by:
from issue:

In his greatest works — Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi and Huckleberry Finn — Twain offered a contrast and tension between town and countryside, between the web of deals and cons and bustle of activity that the modern world would call decidedly urban, and the hard-scrabble but quiet and ultimately nourishing living on farms. There were four farms that touched Sam Clemens, rural locales that sustained and helped mold him, that reached from his beginnings through the decades of his greatest creative efforts.

The Persimmon Tree

The Persimmon Tree

by:
from issue:

It wouldn’t take my brothers long to make the rounds. I needed to be ready, so I cautiously approached the tree and stepped under the shade of its branches. Then I leaped backward, causing my braids to wave forward like swinging doors. There were possums in the branches — possums hanging from their tails! After the first reaction of surprise and fear, I was overcome with amusement. They were so funny!

Traditional Agriculture in Siberia

Traditional Agriculture in Siberia

by:
from issue:

The agricultural system of the Old Believers has long been one of hand labor. Their homesteads (hozyastvas) were not intended for tractors or horses, with the possible exception of their larger potato fields. Traditionally the small peasant hozyastva has its roots in hand labor, and this has helped maintain the health of the land. Understanding the natural systems is easier when one’s hands are in the soil every day as opposed to seeing the land from the seat of a tractor.

Back to the Land

Back to the Land

by:
from issue:

Tired of living in a crowded urban environment with its deafening noise and bumper-to-bumper traffic and eager to escape what they saw as an economy bent on destroying the planet, Matt and Tasha left their home in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in March 2014. In doing so, they became modern-day pioneers, part of a wave of Americans who have chosen to go back to the land over the past decade, seeking to reclaim and rebuild their lives and to forge a deeper connection to the earth, the animals that inhabit it, and to each other.

Ripening

Poetry Corner: What A Boy Lies Awake Wondering

This is a poem from Paul Hunter’s book Ripening.

The Craft of the Wheelwright

The Craft of the Wheelwright

by:
from issue:

In these days of standardization and the extensive use of metal wheels you might think there is little call for the centuries old craft of wheelwrighting, but the many demands on the skills of Gus Kitson in Suffolk, England, show this to be very far from the truth. Despite many years experience of renovating all types of wagons and wheels even Gus can still be surprised by the types of items for which new or restored wooden wheels are required.

Field Weeds and Street Boys

Field Weeds and Street Boys

by:
from issue:

So, our farming system to feed hungry street boys is to have them farm “weeds”. As we have all experienced, weeds are perfectly adapted to their climate, are robust and need no fertilizer nor any of the insecticides to enhance a good crop. Because we are aiming for long term diversified permaculture (this is a Shea native tree area), we needed some very quick marketable crops while we wait for the trees to mature. These field weeds intentionally farmed have a ready market in the big city 5 km north.

Expanding the Use of the Heavy Draught Horse in Europe

Expanding the Use of the Heavy Draught Horse in Europe

“La Route du Poisson”, or “The Fish Run,” is a 24 hour long relay which starts from Boulogne on the coast at 9 am on Saturday and runs through the night to the outskirts of Paris with relays of heavy horse pairs until 9 am Sunday with associated events on the way. The relay “baton” is an approved cross country competition vehicle carrying a set amount of fresh fish.

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley A Farmrun Production by Andrew Plotsky

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT