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Moving the Egg Flock to the Garden

Since the raccoon incident, we are down to 5 hens and two of them are molting.  I recently limed and turned the garden patch so we decided to put the hens on the garden so we could at least capture their manure even if we are down to 1 egg a day!

First, I had to improvise a nest box from a 5-gallon bucket:
 Screws hold the 3/4" plywood end cap in place:
 I drilled a couple of drain holes in case water got inside:
 I crawled into our chicken tractor and attached it to the side brace:

 Next, a roost pole was added:

 And finally a tarp was added for shade and protection:

To keep the raccoons away, we keep a light in with the chickens. Last night I used a Dietz kerosene lanern, but we bought some solar yard lights from Walmart and I put them in with the chickens tonight.

The plan is to move the cage every 4 or 5 days, feeding the chickens on the dirt and adding a little straw as well. Our new laying flock is already in the main coop, and come spring this tractor will have 25 broilers in it. So these older hens will either go to the sale or stew pot in March, but they can enjoy their semi-retirement in the garden this winter.


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