MOV­ABLE ARCS

Country Smallholding - - Poultry Pen -

QWhat are the pro’s and con’s of us­ing mov­able arcs for keep­ing your poul­try?

ANDY SAYS:

Mov­able runs some­times come in the form of dou­ble- or sin­gle-tiered arks with han­dles, or they are built with wheels on one end so they can be moved like a bar­row (some­times called ‘chicken trac­tors’). The ad­van­tages of us­ing them are that fresh ground can be pro­vided as fre­quently as re­quired, which means fresh for­age can be pro­vided, and there is less re­quire­ment for feed sup­ple­ments. The lo­ca­tion of the coop and run can also be very flex­i­ble—for ex­am­ple, on a lawn dur­ing the spring to scratch out moss or thatch, on flowerbeds to clear in­sect pests in sum­mer, or on veg­etable beds af­ter har­vest to clear and fer­tilise the soil. On the down­side, as the sys­tem is mov­able, it is usu­ally much smaller in terms of the space avail­able to the birds, so stock den­sity needs care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion; also, the unit has to be light enough so that it can be lifted with the ad­di­tional weight of your stock.

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