Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Planning a new chicken yard

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Before my wife and I moved to the farm, with the help of friends and family I we got a 75 feet long by 35 feet wide chicken yard.  With 2,625 square feet 100 chickens could fit in the yard and each chicken would have 26 square feet.  It is recommended that each chicken have at least 10 square feet in the yard.  That is double the minimum needed square feet, but there is little to no room for fig trees, blueberry trees,,,, or anything else.

It is time to build a new chicken yard.

The old yard is 75 feet X 25 feet.

The new yard will be 200 feet long, 100 feet wide on the back end and around 175 feet wide on the end where the chicken house is going to be.

The original chicken house is 6 feet wide X 8 feet long.

The new chicken house is going to be 18 feet wide and 20 feet long.

Planting fig trees in the chicken yard

A few weeks ago my wife, our grandkids, my nephew, his wife and their son and I planted 3 fig trees in the new chicken yard.  Saturday, May 17th my wife and I planted a fourth fig tree in the chicken yard.  Before everything is said and done, there may be 5 or 6 fig trees in the chicken yard.

2 – Kadota fig trees. Kadota fig produce a green fig when it is ripe.

Kadota fig tree

2 – Brown turkey fig trees. Chances are most people have seen a Brown turkey fig. The Brown turkey fig has been a long time favorite here in the south.  If your granny had fig trees, they may have been a Brown turkey fig.  These produce a brown/purple colored fig when they are rip.

Brown Turkey Fig tree

 

To go along with the fig trees I want to plant a small orchard of blueberry trees inside the chicken yard.  I would like to get as many blueberry bushes as I can fit.  To start off maybe plant 5 or 6 next spring.

Why are we planting fig trees and blueberry trees in the chicken yard?  To supplement the chickens diet with fresh fruit.  Blueberries and figs are packed with all kinds of nutrients.  Not only are those nutrients good for the chickens, the nutrients are passed to the eggs.  The healthier the chickens eat, the healthier the eggs will be.

The chicken manure is also good for the trees.  The manure is deposited a little bit at a time and is not be enough to damage the tree.

Chicken house

Instead of building a new chicken house my wife and I are going to have an 18 X 20 carport put in.  Enclose the 4 sides, put in some perches, some laying boxes and we have a chicken house.

The end of the chicken house will be flush with the fence.  To keep predators from digging under the wall I am thinking about burying a 4 x 6 treated timber in the ground, then setting the wall on top of that timber.  I could always run a hot wire around the chicken yard that would cover everything besides the gates and door.  I might even do both.  Bury a cross-tie or treated timber under the wall, then run a hot wire outside the wall and around the chicken yard.

The plan so far is to go with 8 foot sides on the carport, then build a lean-to off each side.  Enclose the lean-to sides with 1 x 6’s so the chickens have somewhere to go to get away from hawks, out of the rain and out of the hot summer sun.  Install a rain gutter on the edge of the lean-to that would direct runoff to drums where it would be stored and used for the chickens.

Timeline

I am hoping to start the new chicken house and chicken yard in June.

In June get the carport installed, some fencepost and drive some tee post.

In July buy two rolls of field fence and start fencing the yard.

June first is my last child support payment.  Starting in July I will have some extra money to put towards projects around here.  Hopefully by August and September the solar panels will be in place and we will be ready for winter.  Not that we are goign to use solar to heat the chicken house, I just want the new yard and chicken house complete by the time winter gets here.

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock


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