Padlock System Design: A better way to raise chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ryan112ryan, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. ryan112ryan

    ryan112ryan In the Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2009
    So I recently read a great article about one person's perspective on how to raise chickens and it introduced a new approach for me: The Padlock System

    I was wondering if people have used this approach before and what they thought?

    What is the Padlock System?

    The system comes from permaculture, but it basically is a series of chicken runs that you rotate through, this can only practically be done with smaller number of chickens (up to 50 maybe). In the photo below you have 4 padlocks, you only keep chickens in one area at a time, then every 10 days you move them to the next area. The coop and water/feed is all mobile and it moves with the chickens. So if you moved them every 10 days, that would mean that each area would be in use for 10 days and resting/restoring for 30 days. Like I said, the coop is mobile and you wheel it into the next area with the chickens; You can have a open/mesh bottom below the roost to let poop drop right to the ground (depending on climate) and what ever accumulates has 30 days to break down.

    This allows
    -grass and plants not to be killed
    -have 30 days to regrowth
    -30 days for poop to break down
    -minimize the chickens walking in poop
    -prevent muddy areas
    -minimize cleaning
    -allows more things for chickens to eat other than feed

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Boy do I ever wish I could use this approach!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I have seen quite a few BYC'ers that have multiple runs for their chickens, for different times of the year. There's a few that rotate them to their gardens when they are done with it for the year and then use the old run area for next years garden and have great results because it's already fertilized. Plus the chickens love to munch on the old veggies!

    ETA: i think it's a great idea. Where would the coop/house be in your plans? or would you need multiple?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  4. cdawson41

    cdawson41 In the Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    Missouri
    That is basically how DH set ours up. At this time there are only two yards, but in time I could see there being more. [​IMG]
     
  5. jeb251

    jeb251 Songster

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Fort Wayne
    when I was a kid, I built something similar, but the coop was right in the center wit pop holes to each of the runs however I changed them out every week, as I recall the runs were 12'x12' and the coop was 6'x6'. I used it to grow out chicks. I haven't thought about that for a very long time but as I recall it worked very good
     
  6. ryan112ryan

    ryan112ryan In the Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2009
    Quote:One coop on wheels, just roll into the right area, you just need to have big enough doors.

    That is basically how DH set ours up.

    DH?​
     
  7. DigitalEd

    DigitalEd In the Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2010
    Upstate SC
    Similiar ideas are the basis of Chicken Tractors. The coop and the run move together (sometimes as a single unit and sometimes as two parts). A movable tractor/coop with a movable fence (e.g. an Electronet or similar) would also work and you wouldn't necessarily need to build padlocks.

    The more serious folks have tractors that can handle up to 100 birds per tractor. If you want an example, google "Joel Salatin"
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    DFW
    Isn't it paddock, rather than padlock?
     
  9. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Quote:X2
    Or you could call it Rotational Grazing. Used for larger animals, but works with chickens, too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  10. cdawson41

    cdawson41 In the Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    Missouri
    Quote:One coop on wheels, just roll into the right area, you just need to have big enough doors.

    That is basically how DH set ours up.

    DH?​

    DH is a shorthand term for Dear Hubby, could see DS=Dear Son, DD=Dear Daughter etc. [​IMG] Enjoy the boards this is a fantastic group of people with lots of good informaton and very helpful.
     

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