Greer Farm's Egg Mobile
06 April, 2011 - 09:39
For many years we have had an Egg Mobile on our business plan as another farm project to accomplish. The hold-up has been trying to locate a suitable trailer frame on which to mount our moving chicken house. One was recently located 200 miles from the farm and brought back to be converted. Your need a wagon with a swivel tongue to move it around eaily. Old cotton wagons are best for this, but hard to find and very expensive.
The concept of an Egg Mobil is simple. We will place the hen house in a cow pasture. The chicken house moves along with the chickens so they have a steady natural diet of grass and bugs to forage on in a free range environment. Whenever the grass gets short or the chicken poops gets too deep on the grass, the house is moved. The chickens are only in the house to lay eggs, roost at night and to get out of the sun during part of the day. An electric chicken fence surrounds the area around the trailer giving the chickens a lot of room to graze, but protecting them from chicken snakes and four legged predators. Our one concern is flying hawks.
We will soon have new day old chicks to brood and raise, so in a short period of time the chicks will be large enough to be outside . In five months or so, we will have our first eggs.
I suppose you wonder what we will do with so many eggs. Some will be use by us on the farm, some will go to our cabin guests, but most will be distributed through the Comeback Creek CSA in the Dallas, Texarkana, Longview-Tyler and our local area. Beside a wide variety of organic vegetables you can obtain from Comeback Creek, they will also have our berries in season.
The trailer had been used to haul hay and was built off a 1950’s Ford truck frame. We removed
the wood deck and painted the frame before we started to build the house.
We enlarged the floor farme so we could accomodate up to 250 chickens roosting in
the hen house. The egg laying boxes can be seen at the rear of the roosts. The metal
hen house is insulated so the chickens do not get heat stress in the summer. The floor
is wire covered and with the roof vents there will be adequated air circulation.
The busniess end of the house contains the laying nests. There are 20 nests in our
initial set-up and we could add other nests if we get more chickens. The chickens enter
the egg boxes from inside the house and we will open the doors to collect the eggs.
There is an access hatch for us to enter the hen house, and a ramp for the
chickens to get in easily. Your cna close the door for security at night and when you move the house, you can
raise the ramp
Since the house is larger than the trailer frame, we welded four leg supports attaching them to each corner of the hen house. Your tighten two bolts to lock the leg in place. This will give the hen house more to stabaility
in the event of high winds.
We repaired this laying box which will be returned
to the old barn where we will keep a few chickens.