Moving forward...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mini Meat, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Mini Meat

    Mini Meat Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...With my big plans

    In this thread I hope to document and discus my projects and plans.

    I am an “outside of the box” kind of person and BYC is a very diverse place so I am sure some folks will disagree my plans, while others may like them. That’s okay. Feel free to bolster or blow up any you chose. Just please don’t start any fights that get the thread in trouble. And, in the end please respect that the final decision is mine, and that disagreement does not mean I don’t appreciate the debate. My goals may not be your goals.

    My main goals, are to produce healthy, nutrient dense food for my family, from my land. To develop controlled systems that, over time, allow me to reduce expenses and work load while still maintaining a high quality of life for the animals (and fruits, vegetables, insects, fish, etc.) in my program.

    In the process I hope to restore a much abused area of my land to a healthier state.

    Please join in, I may need you to talk me off a ledge... Lol

    To be continued...
    2 people like this.
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Looking forward to reading your plans and see your progress!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mini Meat

    Mini Meat Chillin' With My Peeps

    So here we go.

    For this project I have about a 1/2 acre of flat ground. This flat ground has been base rocked about 4" deep. On the flat is a large concrete slab 36' x 52' half of which is occupied by a large metal building 34' x24'. The building has been leased out for the last 5 years and was just vacated this month. Surrounding the flat area is many acres of woods.

    Now that the shop is vacant I am going to retro fit it with breeding pens.

    This is the floor plan I have laid out.

    It will have
    1- 10'x 12' indoor pen with a 10' x 20' outdoor run for my Quad of Bourbon reds.
    4- 5' x8' indoor pens w/ 5' x 20' outdoor pens for my chicken breeding groups.
    Across a 4' isle will be
    1- 15' x12' indoor pen w/ 14' x34' outdoor run for future American Guinea hogs
    1- 15' x 8' grow out for pullets to free range from
    4- 4' x 7' or 8' single bird holding condos

    It is raining hard now so I had better upload this before my internet quits but feel free to comment or ask questions.

    Thank you.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That looks great!
    Nice sketch too.
    Really looking forward seeing this progress.

    Drainage/urine management plans for hog pen?
    Ventilation plans?

    What is your climate?
    Putting your location in your profile can help folks have better understanding and give better answers/suggestions.
    2 people like this.
  5. Mini Meat

    Mini Meat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your interest.

    Ventilation and moisture management are going to be the two biggest challenges. The concrete floor won't help but it's what I've got.

    My climate is mild. Dry summers, rainy winters. It doesn't get below freezing but every few years.

    The garage door will come out, and the man door too. The whole front will be re framed and covered with chain link. There is a 4 foot setback from the front wall to the pens. this will allow me to use chicken wire on the pens since the chain link wall should keep predators at bay.

    The windows across the back side will come out and be replaced with hardware cloth inserts. (all the junk is now gone)

    The siding will be removed to about 4 ribs from the bottom and replaced with hardware cloth and pop doors for the breeders to access the runs.

    The hog urine is the hardest. This plan may not work. I want to do deep litter in all pens. I know that deep litter works best on dirt but I hope that by adding some already bio active ingredients to it, including soil from the forest, that it will function.

    So for the hog pen I am going to put down a layer of highly absorbent wood pellets. On top of that I am going to put a "floor" of 4" logs, laid parallel. On top of that 8" of wood chips with a bit of soil. My hope is that excess urine, not absorbed by the wood chips, will drain through the logs and be trapped by the pellets.

    I do realize that the hogs may not work out in this barn... I may have to relocate them.

    This morning I am going to pick up my new bees. But this afternoon I hope to get some demo work done.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Good Thinking.

    Do you have rats and/or weasels that might get thru chain link and chicken wire??

    DL can work on concrete with a deep enough pack, enough moisture, and some starter 'culture'.
  7. Mini Meat

    Mini Meat Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do not currently have a rat problem, but I'm sure they will come with time. I have never seen nor heard of weasels in the area but that doesn't mean the are not about, just means I had not considered them.

    I was thinking I want chain link across the front because of this guy. If it was day light you would be able to see the barn on the right.
    Your point is a good one so, I may do chain link on the outside of the studs and hardware cloth on the inside.

    I plan to do the DL +/- 12" deep, inoculated with a combo of soil, partially rotted wood chips and "recycled" pine savings. Recycled being they come from the manure pile at the horse barn and have been partially hot composted. There will be some horse poos in that but i don't think the chickens will mind.

    I picked up my Bees and set them up the hill from the chicken yard in a spot where they get morning sun and afternoon shade. I put a ring of 2" x 4" wire around them to keep the chickens from getting too close.
  8. Mini Meat

    Mini Meat Chillin' With My Peeps

    We got a lot done today. We had my son in law to help so we did hard stuff that my daughter and I would not be able to do alone.
    We got the upper shelves down. About 40 linear feet of 2' wide shelving... very heavy.

    We got the garage door panels off only the frame remains. The man door and frame are out.

    But the windows... they where a challenge. I don't know how they where attached but they seem to have grown into the building itself. The two on either side where crank type and we just removed the moving part and left the frame. the center one is actually a door turned on it's side. I thought about jerking it out with my truck but after adding up the square footage of the ventilation I decided 260 sf' was plenty so it will stay.

    I am beat like a dog.
  9. CanadianBuckeye

    CanadianBuckeye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2015
    Cadmus, Ontario Canada
    I hope everything works out for you. Just a thought, before you rip all those shelves out, is there a way to re purpose them as chicken breeding pens? You might have to tweak your design a little, but they look solid and might be an option.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    are you living on this property? Because hogs have a very powerful odor. From my experience with large animals and the hog is close, I don't think the set is going to work. I don't think it is enough space, unless you only have one. Pigs do a lot of damage to fencing, and buildings. Really unbelievable damage, their rooting is much more powerful than one might think. My in-laws had them and while most animal smells don't bother me, that one did. And they cause a lot of damage to the building they were using for shelter.

    Perhaps you have a great deal more experience with hogs than I do, but if not, I think I would hold off on the hogs, and get the rest of this up and going. Do the hog thing last. just my two cents.

    mrs K
    2 people like this.

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