Versatility Matters – Especially On the Farm

Almost ten years ago, I started raising my poultry, which led to selling poultry at a farmers’ market and a few restaurants. While I don’t sell poultry anymore, I still enjoy raising animals on my farm. But one has to consider some things when raising poultry or any farm animals: they need food, shelter, and water. (Sounds like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but I never asked my animals how they are doing on their road to self-actualization. But they seem content.)

Recognizing I needed shelters, I built several hoop pens based on the following design posted at a University of Kentucky website about poultry housing. These things work great! And they still work great, even after all these years of being out in the elements. I did not say they had to look good!

8 years later. Still going strong!

At various times I have raised squabs, brooded countless goslings, ducklings, chickens, etc., in addition to serving as a sick ward for sheep and poultry. The hoop pens have been temporary storage for feed and farm supplies, including a greenhouse, at one time. So, this simple design has become a mainstay on the property due to its versatility.

Biddies in a Hoop Pen. I feel raising young poultry in the hoop pen leads them to be more active foraging as adults, with less cleaning, as I move the pen every few days.

Spilt milk…

I had to milk a sheep last year. I was hoping to taste the milk but the dog knocked over the bucket before I got the milk inside. No need crying about this…;)