Really going to miss summer pasture

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    937
    3
    131
    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    We pature our birds in summer in an electronet enclosure with open-bottomed sliding shelters. Summer chicken chores are so easy. Slide the huts to a new spot, use the hose to fill the waterer, fill the feeders. Head count. Occassionally move the fence slightly an mow the fenceline, put the fence back. Or move the birds to an entirely different spot.

    Winter here is below freezing for months. The snow is so deep there is no point in giving them an outside run. Water has to be hauled in jugs. Daily poop management, can't just move the hut. Frostbite needs to be watched for. Roosters who naturally stay separated in a large pasture need separate cages to avoid injuries. Eggs lose that wonderful color they get from eating lots of veggies. Constant Rodent Control efforts (I HATE Rats). Constant checking for holes big enough for weasels, mink or other vicious chicken killers. Try to give the birds something to do so they do not pick at each other.

    I am seriously going to miss summer pasture.
     
  2. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,637
    50
    231
    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Not me. It's been to hot & dry here in Texas. Today was the first day for rain in months. It finally cooled down to 60. Really, not much rain today but every little bit helps.
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,390
    127
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    We've got our first real chance of rain in over a month this week. Hopefully we'll actually get some this time. Hasn't rained a drop here in over a month and the month before that was only a half-inch. Hard to raise birds on grass when the grass ain't growing.
     
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    4,203
    73
    253
    Apr 19, 2009
    ...there is no point in giving them an outside run.

    Sure there is. A big point; to reduce or eliminate most of the problems you outlined in your post. [​IMG]
     
  5. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,760
    41
    238
    Jan 29, 2007
    St.Charles, QC
    Quote:As will I [​IMG]
     
  6. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ours will go out in the snow, but not in the rain and mud. When it is too muddy and rainy they just stay in the coop. When we hear a prediction of lots of rain, I have liked to either buy a flock block for their entertainment, or to get an old cabbage or other veggies from the cast off section behind a local open air fruit and veggie market by us. They let me pick through it for free whenever I want. The stuff is not fit for people to eat and has had flies on it, etc., but the chickens don't care.
     
  7. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    I'm in WI and this will be my first winter with chickens; I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what the chickens will DO all day without a pasture to kick around in...
     
  8. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    937
    3
    131
    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Quote:Sure there is. A big point; to reduce or eliminate most of the problems you outlined in your post. [​IMG]

    Ok point taken. I confess to being spoiled by the movable fence. We can leave the birds in their night huts for a few hours, move the fence and mow, then put the fence up. It really works surprisingly well.

    My DH does not want the maintenance of caring for the area around a permanent run fence. The man does not really like going around trees or anything at all, so I am not allowed such permanent structures. I have to stick flower beds and trees in odd corners that he does not like to mow anyway.

    The winter coop is a roomed off area of the pole shed, and he does not want to poke a hole in the siding for a pop-door. When the weather is nice after they go into winter quarters, I have to build a wire tunnel to the garage door and let them out there. Honestly, there is a 4ft+ drift there in winter, just not what the birds will go for.
     
  9. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    576
    7
    141
    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I would push for the outdoor run, covered with corrugated metal roofing (it would need to be well supported for the weight of snow).

    If it is only about mowing, I would either mow myself, pay someone to mow, not mow at all and maybe plant weed blocking plants, or put weed block/mulch/wood chips around the structure (however free ranging chickens can mess up the weed block and mulch).

    Not sure why he's opposed to putting in a pop-up door, but I'd also push for that and install it myself if I had to. But I'm kind of a stubborn one!
     
  10. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    937
    3
    131
    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Just a farm girl living with a suburban guy, it is bound to have challenging moments! I'm lucky to have chickens at all.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by