Birds were the very first animal we got started with on our farm. We absolutely love our little bird family! Every single one of them have quite the little personality. And birds are generally something that anyone can do in their own back yard on a smaller scale.
ChickensOur chickens are part of our over all approach to our farm. We currently run two general types of chickens:
Pastured BroilersOur pastured broilers are kept in a 144 square foot shelters which are moved to a new patch of pasture at least once a day (twice a day in the 7th and 8th week). They are rotated into pastures after our pigs where they spend the day scratching in the grass, spreading manure around, picking up various bugs, and just having a great time socializing with one another. The shelter that they are housed in provides them with a roof and walls to help the birds get away from the sun, wind, and rain. They also keep the birds safe from any predators.
ChicksWe recently started tinkering with the idea of hatching our own eggs. So far we have successfully hatched various ducks and chickens from our pet birds here on the farm. Once our egg layers are safely home in their "egg mobile" we will start harvesting some of the eggs for hatching purposes. While we don't ever intend to be a full blown hatchery we will offer chicks from time to time as we haver overflow!
DucksCurrently we have several breeds of ducks wandering our property. We had originally intended to raise ducks for food but we quickly found that ducks are soo very cute! We are now using them primarily for fueling our farm tv needs as well as to keep the pest population down. We may off course pluck the occaisional duck for christmas dinner!
Eggs from pastured egg layersOur eggs layers have finally been moved out to the pasture! They are now living life on fresh pasture in their luxury (for a chicken) egg mobile. They get moved to new pasture every couple of days. And they are loving their new life where they truly get to be chickens. No coop for them!