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Monday, April 09, 2007

Sheryl's pic's

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Thelma has her babies

Petunia's babies

We finally got a chance to get these pictures of Petunia's babies, she is VERY protective

Olive gets ready

Here is Olive getting her nest ready, she was huge but only had five, she layed on three so only two are left

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jeff's pictures

Thanks to Beardsly Zoo and Doc Hockman

I went to Bridgeport today to pick up two four year old gilts from Beardsley Zoo, many thanks to all the folks there and to Doc Hockman for getting them in touch with us.

We now have two new girls (Perry the boar is VERY HAPPY) Petunia and Daisy, don't know what we will do about having two girls named petunia but we will figure it out.

Their primary trainer Lindsley (I think) says they are very smart and well trained, she will e-mail me with the exact details but as I undrstand it they know left, right, back and target...where they go to a ball, put their nose on it and stay there until they get a treat. They love to have their tummies rubbed and we welcome them to our family.

Thanks to Jeff for some great shots...

These two will stay in our temp paddock for about a week to get used to everything, they were not used to the electric fence and Petunia went right through it yelping all the way, she turned around and went right back through it again and has since "tested" the fence a half dozen times, I thing she has clamed down now and is happy rooting and making use of her wallow.

Petunia has her babies

Petunia spent most of the day Saturday gathering straw and building a nest, sometime last night she gave birth to 8 and 7 have survived. I tried to get shots of her gathering the straw in her mouth and carrying it to her hut, hope you can see it okay.

I will get some piglet pictures in a day or so when she has had time to rest.

Chicken tractor 17 of 17

What follows in reverse order is 17 posts of how we made our chicken tractors, not the best ones I am sure but they serve our purpose, I can stand up in them, the cows can't wreck them, they can be moved with a little gusto by one person, the will go over most rocks and stumps and they seem to work for us very well.

So if you go to 1 0f 1 and go backwards you should have a pretty good idea of what to do. I was making five of them when I did this so hopefully I didn't leave anything too important out.

If you have any specific questions you can e-mail me at

Chicken tractor 16 of 17

Chicken Tractor 15 of 17

Chicken tractor 14 of 17

Thanks probably all the help you need, actually you probably disn't even need that much, you still have some work to do, the cattle panel needs to be attched to the ridge pole, use large fence staples like what you used to attach the bottom.

You will need to make a door and a way to hold it in place, I would suggest a permanent block at the bottom and a swing block at the top so it only take one hand to open the door.

The chicken waire now needs to cover the entire tractor, use small wire staples to attach it to the wood and wire wraps to attach it to the cattle panel.

Then you will need to attach the tarp, we use tarps that are about 11' X 16', use the wire wraps to attach it.

A chain is attached to the ridge pole to hold the feeder, and a shelf is made on the front to hold the water jug. You may even opt to use a 5 gallon plastic waterer.

Chicken tractor 13 of 17

Cut 1: 2X4 102" long and with help install this ridge pole on each end of the tractor using a 3" drywall screw, the follow that with 2 4" timber locks.

Chicken tractor 12 of 17

Measure, cut and install braces at all four corners, I figure you ought to be able to do this without any measurements. Two screws go in from the top on one end and two from the side on the other.

Chicken tractor 11 of 17

Cut 2: 1x3's 56" long, center them on the 20: mark and attach.

Mark all 4 boards on the tractors front 21" and 46" from the top of the cross piece.

When you attach the cross pieces attach them BELOW the marked lines.

Cut 2: 1X3's 33 " long
Cut 2: 1X3's 20" long.

Attach the 33" boards on the bottom mark, leave 1 1/2" on the door board, this is so the door will fit flush.

Attach the top 2 boards in the same manner.

Chicken tractor 10 of 17

On the three boards in the back, measure and mark 2 lines on each of them. One line @ 21" from the top of the cross piece and one line @ 46" from the top of the cross piece

Cut 1: 1x3 99" long
Cut 1: 1X3 73" long

Install on the outside of the 3 uprights and ABOVE the marks.

Go to the front.
From each inside edge of each door board, measure out 20" and mark the line, this mark will also be about 20" from the end of the cross piece