|Rick & Carol
poultryopilus with picsWell it's been three years in the making but I think we can finally call it finished.
When we moved to Tegfan we inherited a rather poor field shelter faced with rotten corrugated and nothing else in the way of animal housing. This rather distressing sight was it. Yuk!!
The first job was to sink in concrete bases as I wanted all housing to be as predator proof as poss.
We then put up our first housing for the egg flock which had come with us from Oxfordshire, an old police dog kennel that I'd converted ready for poultry housing, I figured if it was strong enough to contain a german shepherd it would be strong enough to keep rufus out. All our housing has been put together with this in mind, so I admit the overall effect looks a bit like 'chicken-run' but without the watch towers. The elegant one in the wellies is me, the look alike in the house is a good mate of mine from 'back in the day'
Our first bit of housing was in with plans for more but that was it for a year or so
Next on the agenda a year later was to sort out the crappy field shelter. It had no floor and was very poor. The frame seemed good so I stripped off the corrugated sides, only to realise it was the corrugated holding the frame together and it very nearly came down. However I left enough of the corrugated to hold it up, I dug down, hard-cored and set a concrete base in before it fell over then took off the corrugated from one side, put on shiplap then the next side etc. strengthened the frame and in the end came out with a solid building which still retained the old tin roof.
We brought some turkeys on during 2013 in the shed as I had no fencing to contain them and whilst it was a success it's not really what we are about so fencing was scheduled for later. Likewise during 2014 I put up a second chicken shed for table birds and successfully bought some on but fencing had to come so they could stretch their legs a bit.
Last and this year has seen quite a bit of fencing go in, I became a dab hand at clipping turkey wings to stop them getting over the fence and expect to do a lot of chicken wing clipping this year. The paddocks are just far too big to consider higher fencing.
The final piece of the project during 2014/15 was an incubation room. We put up a woodshed which was desperately needed and sectioned off a 10 x 6ft end for incubation - the bit with the window, bit of a drama getting electricity up the field & we ended up putting an old telegraph pole in to carry it.
It's now kitted out inside with an incubator shelf and a 6ft X 6ft run for babies, We got one of those up & down low energy heaters and were given a hanging infra red light to use as back up. Next Sat is our local poultry auction so we shall be looking for Ross Cobb eggs for the first batch & will also try to hatch some of our own RIR eggs to bolster the egg laying flock. Turkeys next.
Once off heat then their future is either off to the egg flock house, now looking 'Fort Knox' like with access to all the field
or off to the table bird shed, this is now encased in a 25 X 13M paddock, the fencing is stock fencing to give it strength with small gauge poultry wire over that to stop any chicks getting out
or off to the Turkey paddock, which is the same size & fencing arrangement.
Poultryopilus runs down one side of the field opposite 'Pigtopia' so feeding/cleaning etc. is quite straightforward
All the paddocks have 5ft gates so if needs be the sheep that share the field can go in & do some grazing, but the 3 turkeys we have for breeding have got their paddock looking like its cut with scissors so that may not be necessary but the sheep have been gardening in the table bird paddock as that's currently empty. I really think in terms of animal housing we're done although I'm sure something will crop up in the future, but the plan was, like the house was to get in a position where we start to enjoy it and I think we're nearly there.