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Tj Jefferson

pollinator
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since Aug 17, 2016
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bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting
Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Recent posts by Tj Jefferson

Excellent thread everyone. This is super interesting. following but wanted everyone to know this isnt just an echo chamber.

S. Bard wrote:

Artie Scott wrote:Another option to consider is frost seeding.

The idea is to spread seed after the snow is gone but before the end of the freeze thaw cycle. As the soil freezes, it opens little cracks, and when it thaws, they close, improving the likelihood of sufficient soil to seed contact.

I have had some improvement with this method, tho probably not as good as using a rake or other mechanical means to scratch the soil surface to increase seed to soil contact.



Would there be any risk of the seed being destroyed by the frost as well? Perhaps using certain seeds that are more frost resistant?



Yes for some seeds that are exotic. I tried with sunn hemp and a bunch was consumed by slugs before germination. For stuff that sprouts in the spring it’s a better germination because they cold stratify. And seed plant like this in nature too right?
1 day ago
will try to get pix but im gone for two weeks! have to see if I have any on my computer. Maybe a walkaround video on youtube, just as easy.
2 days ago
I can try. Its really very simple. I figured the shed roof would be 6' on the high end and 4' on the low. framed two sides (uphill and downhill- the longer sides) with upright 2x4 on the corners and one in the middle. Drilled through the steel piping trailer sides (which was not easy) and installed lag bolts to tie the frames to the trailer. Then I just tied them together with a 2x4 on top running down to support the roof, and dropped a 2x4 to frame the door. I did frame at 24" which was WAY overkill. This thing went through the remnants of two hurricanes with no damage.The roof is 1x4 every 1' (so only 1/3 covered with lumber- just enough to screw in the roofing sheets). I put in hardware cloth on the gaps, not even a snake can get in there with the door closed- again probably overkill.

The metal sides of the trailer are the main strength of the coop. It came with them so I used them. I used an angle grinder to cut a spot for the big door (which we use a couple times a year to scoop out any built up poop). I put in some roosts on the long axis (2x3 again would be plenty) with 18' of roosts for 15 birds, and I put in a few crossers to keep them from being crowded on the roosts. Its important they have nice sturdy roosts because I move them after they have gone to bed and its a bumpy ride! Added a large wheel on the front so it's pushable.

There is nothing on the floor, just "diamond mesh" steel we call it. Trailer is 5x8 but I left the last 2' for storage, which was a mistake. Should have removed the heavy ramp and made it the full size. That would have been enough for 20 birds. They recommend 3 square feet per bird but that is for coops. These birds basically live outside and just roost in there.  

For security if you have theft issues, I would consider making a little storage box (with a  steep metal roof on the inside so it doesn't collect poop) with outside access and a jumper energizing your fence. Then you could have the solar panel on the coop roof, and the expensive stuff would be inside the fence. I have been entertained by how many "tough " people stay away from the fence because they dont understand it, and they wouldn't comprehend you just disconnect the jumper and climb over the fence.

Anyhow those are improvements for the next iteration. I kept the trailer street legal so if I decide to make the improvements I can sell this one and make enough to buy all the parts for Mark II. Total outlay on this was $700 trailer, $500 energizer/fence, hardware $100ish,  $100 roofing, $30 front tire and some lumber. Auto door was I think around $200, and egg box was maybe $150. So its not cheap but those birds work constantly! they go on the "lawn" in the woods, everywhere. I've gotten one tick in 2 years since the birds were employed, prior 4-5 a day.

Also, I would get a 12v auto door so its all on the same battery.  
2 days ago
Ducks should be fine. I don't have plans specifically. I would say to make it very light I used 2x4 lumber, while 2x3 would have been plenty. Metal roofing for siding would be lighter too, i did traditional framing and just stood it up and lag bolted it on the trailer. The little ramp would be necessary for ducks I think and I put it in for training, and maybe will put in a brooding box when these guys are old. I had 15 in there and they seem fine as they really only roost in it and when its really snowy. I'm down to 9 right now. Only lost 3, none consumed just killed and left- ambush attack through the net when the morons were right against it and one hawk kill. Many failed attacks judging by the occasional fencegetting pushed inward!
2 days ago
Roll out egg box on the downhill side, eggs will be fine for a week. I used a mesh bottom trailer since I didn't have time to make a custom. Way stronger than I needed. I can push it on nearly level ground and move it a couple meters a day to spread the destruction and poop.

Love it, haven't had to do much but move it around.
2 days ago
I use an automatic door, solar charger for the fence, and the tube on the uphill side has 2 weeks of food in it. Water is replenished from the roof. If I had not been an idiot I would have had the reservoir inside the coop lightly insulated with cup waterers which are pretty much frost proof unless its well below freezing. Once I make that modification it should be fine for 2 weeks
2 days ago
We leave for a week or more at a time. Everything is automated.
2 days ago
Anj,

Some really good advice on here. Electric is awesome since you can change a plan in an hour, and make bigger paddocks as needed. The up front cost is high but I've been using the same nets for three years and they are in great shape. For full size piggys they come in a 42" height which does dual for chickens after the piggys go through, making it an easy starter rotation system. I would advise getting a 0.6 J or greeater charger as a weak zap is a useless fence and its marginally more compared to replacing nets and animals. I move the nets by hand in about ten minutes per 100" section including making the new paddock by cutting vegetation on the line. With 4 nets I can move them in about 35 minutes.
2 days ago