Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production


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Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production

  1. 1. Poultry: Equipment for ATTRA Alternative Production A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgBy Robert Plamondon This publication describes some of the basic equipment needed for small-scale chicken flocks, espe-For technical cially flocks on range. Major topics are addressed in detail, including watering and feeding equipment,questions, contact fencing considerations, and roosting and nesting boxes. References and resources are embedded inAnne Fanatico, NCAT the narrative.Agriculture Specialist©2006 NCAT Introduction • Big Dutchman A http://bigdutchmanusa.com/ llowing poultry access to the outdoors products/alternative.html provides challenges not encounteredContents in indoor production. The roof and • SKA walls of a confinement house protect both www.ska.it/uk/index.htmlIntroduction ..................... 1 the equipment and the chickens. With the • Gillis Agricultural SystemsWaterers............................. 1 chickens and equipment outdoors, there will www.gillisag.comGeneral Issues ................. 1 be new problems from weather, predators,Types of WateringSystems .............................. 5 interaction with other livestock, and sheer WaterersSources for Piped- distance. The equipment for an indoor flock The labor of watering poultry by carrying water inWater Systems ................. 7 doesn’t need to be strong enough for goats buckets is tremendous and not to be considered inTypes of Waterers ........... 8 to jump on, for example. any up-to-date poultry plant. Watering must beHow Many Waterers? .. 10 Working on a small scale also calls for dif- accomplished by some artificial piping system orFeeders ............................ 10 from spring-fed brooks. ferent management decisions than modernIssues With Feeders large-scale operation. You probably won’t -- Milo Hastings, The Dollar Hen, 1909, p. 62.on Range ......................... 11 be adding a pair of diesel backup gen-Kinds of Feeders ........... 13 The issue of waterers is far more important erators or drilling new wells just for yourHow Many Feeders? .... 16 than people realize. A poorly conceived pastured chickens, though this is commonFencing ............................ 16 watering system will stunt or kill your birds enough in conventional broiler farms. SomePredator Issues .............. 19 while at the same time consuming an enor- of the equipment used by the big boys isRoosts ............................... 20 mous amount of labor. On hot days, a fail- great for small-scale operations, and some ure in the water supply will start killingNest Boxes ...................... 22 isn’t. This publication helps you figure outTypes of Nest Box ......... 22 broilers almost at once. A reliable source of which is which. water is absolutely essential.Collecting the Eggs ..... 24 Each issue (water, feed, fencing, roosts, and nest boxes) has a variety of solutions. Some- General Issues times equally good solutions are almost The water needs to be drinkable to begin opposite in approach, such as setting up a with, and needs to stay that way once it’s pressurized water system vs. having your poured into the vessel that the chickens chickens drink from a brook. I will try to be drink from. This can present problems onATTRA—National SustainableAgriculture Information Service clear about which considerations steer you both ends.is managed by the National Cen- towards one or the other, and which ideaster for Appropriate Technology(NCAT) and is funded under a I have actually tried, and which I’ve only Cleanlinessgrant from the United States heard about.Department of Agriculture’s The chickens themselves are part of theRural Business-Cooperative Ser-vice. Visit the NCAT Web site Some of the larger manufacturers offer problem. They poop in the water and(www.ncat.org/agri. equipment not detailed in this publication. scratch litter into it when given the opportu-html) for more informa-tion on our sustainable Those considering a larger operation might nity. Don’t give them the opportunity. Pro-agriculture projects. ���� find the following sites useful. Check out: vide some kind of guard to prevent them
  2. 2. from getting where they shouldn’t be. Puddles and Wet Spots Many commercial waterers provide this by Chickens do not appreciate clean water and design. Bell waterers, vacuum founts, and will drink from manure-soaked puddles if it many other designs have a narrow water saves them a single step. Thus, one aspect bowl and a large, roost-proof central dome. But with other models you may have to roll of providing clean drinking water for your your own. chickens is to prevent puddles where pos- sible. Often, these puddles are caused by Because a chicken’s crop doesn’t have a spillage from the waterers themselves. They valve at the top, if they have to bend down provide a nasty disease vector, since water- to drink, some of their crop’s contents will ers get a lot of traffic and are the ideal spot run into the water. Yuck! Keep the water- to exchange pathogens. Also, most patho- ers high enough that the water is above gens prefer damp environments to dry ones. crop level. (In poultry publications, this is So take that spillage seriously. rather misleadingly called “as high as the chickens’ backs.”)C hickens do not appre- Source Water Quality ciate clean It’s popular these days to say that you shouldwater and will never give livestock water that you wouldn’tdrink from manure- drink yourself. I don’t go that far, since Isoaked puddles if it won’t drink from streams myself, but don’tsaves them a single mind if my livestock do. But, at a minimum,step. your water should be as uncontaminated as springs or creeks ever are. Obviously, some contaminants are worse This installation from the 1930s uses a simple wire- than others. The chickens don’t care if the covered platform to prevent wet spots. water supply has sand or newts in it, but arsenic or high bacteria levels are another This is much less of a problem for daily- story. It wouldn’t hurt to get your water move pens or any method which involves tested, wherever it comes from. It might moving the waterers frequently (unless the be instructive to make two tests; one filled leakage is really large), because the waterer at the water source and one filled from a moves and the wet spot dries out before waterer. If the waterer is loaded with bacte- the pathogens really get established. It’s ria and the source is clean, you’ll know you an enormous problem inside permanently have some work to do with the waterers and sited houses. With permanent installations, distribution system! it’s a good idea to think about some kind of drainage system, especially if you can come Many farmers have reported improved up with one that can handle the total failure results with low levels of disinfectants in the of an automatic watering system and pre- drinking water (such as using chlorinated vent the house from flooding. city water), presumably because the resid- Many such systems basically involve hav- ual chlorine kills bacteria in the waterers ing some kind of porch or alcove outside and prevents transmission from one chicken the chicken house proper, with a wire floor. to another. Adding chemicals to the water Spilled water thus falls harmlessly outside. sounds like too much work to me, but it Another system is to have a pit with a drain drives home the point that waterers can be inside the house. Litter can clog the drain reservoirs of infection if you’re not careful. in the latter case. Keeping litter out can bePage 2 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  3. 3. tricky, though keeping the area higher than Freezable systems work best in areas wherethe litter (and providing access ramps for daytime temperatures are generally abovebroilers, who don’t hop well) can work. freezing, so the system will thaw and start working sometime during the day with-Freezing out any attention from the farmer. This is my situation. But freezable systems areWinter is a nasty time for the water supply. useful in any climate, as a way ofPeople keep telling me that chickens will eat preventing equipment damage if thesnow, and I suppose that’s true, if you hap- system freezes up in spite of your bestpen to have snow. But can they eat enough freeze-proofing methods.snow to be highly productive? I doubt it.There are two basic approaches to dealing Freeze-Proof Systemswith freezing. One is to have a system that To prevent freezing altogether, you needcan freeze solid, but will work again when it some combination of water flow, insulation,thaws. The other is to prevent freezing. or heat. One method is to put your water- ers in a house that never drops below freez- ing inside, and supply it from buried pipes. FFreezable Water Systems Or you can use heating tape to prevent the reezable sys-I have seen plastic pans split from freezing, system from freezing, even in a cold house. tems workbut not galvanized ones. A simple freezable If you can’t use outdoor piping, a reservoir best in areaswatering system consists of two sets of gal- inside a warm house could provide water.vanized pans or (for full-sized birds) buck- where daytime tem-ets. You take warm water out to the chick- It is not very difficult to build chicken peratures are gener-ens in one set, and bring the other set back houses that never fall below freezing, pro- ally above freezing,home with you, allowing whatever ice is at vided that they have an insulated roof and so the system willthe bottom to thaw before it’s time to water controlled ventilation. Normal stocking den- sities will ensure that the hens themselves thaw and start work-the chickens again. This is simple, reliable,and far too much work! But it’s the tradi- provide most or all of the needed heat, and ing sometime duringtional “if all else fails” backup system. the deep-litter system will generate more the day without any through composting. However, this works attention from theFreezing is a nuisance for all types of auto- best with relatively large flocks; it’s much farmer.matic waterers, but it is especially hard on easier to get this effect with five hundredlow-pressure waterers with valve assemblies chickens than with fifty. With small flocks,that are at least partly plastic. These tend to the problem is that a house large enoughsplit if they freeze solid, resulting in a flood for the farmer to work in comfortably is toowhen they thaw. Bell waterers, nipple water- large for the flock to heat. In this case, usingers, and cup waterers generally fall into electricity to heat the water pipes ratherthis category. than the house will be most efficient.Waterers with all-metal valve assemblies I have used two kinds of heat for wateringtend to survive freeze/thaw cycles without systems: heating tape and bucket heaters.any ill effects. Heating tape (available at any hardware or plumbing supply store) is an electric cablePVC piping tends to split when frozen. I that runs off AC power and is designedhave had excellent results with ordinary to keep pipes from freezing. Make suregarden hose, which never seems to fail from you buy an outdoor-rated product, even ifmere freezing. I believe the elasticity of the you are using it indoors, because chickenhose absorbs the swelling in the system as houses are a harsh environment, and followit freezes, preventing damage to other com- the instructions. In some cases, such as Lit-ponents. I have much less experience with tle Giant bowl waterers, the warmed pipespoly irrigation tubing. So far, the tubing has will heat the valve portion of the watereralways survived, as have plastic T-fittings, and prevent the system from freezing at thisbut plastic ball valves split in hard freezes. critical point.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 3
  4. 4. Bucket heaters (and their smaller cousins, You’ll notice that all the above assumes that birdbath heaters) are immersion heaters you have AC power available. What if you that go right into the water. These aren’t don’t? Other than the possibility of using suited to any kind of poultry waterer that kerosene or propane space heaters, I don’t I know of, but they work fine on big pan know of anything very useful. Temporary waterers like the Little Giant Everfull Bowl freezing can be prevented to some extent waterer, which is just a galvanized pan with with insulation. a float valve. Bucket heaters need to be grounded to prevent stray voltages that will Continuously flowing water can also prevent keep the chickens from drinking. This is freezing. If you have lots of low-cost water, no place to use the old extension cord with this is an option. The simplest version is of the missing ground pin! (More about stray course a brook that runs through an area voltages later.) the chickens have access to. These are available from pet supply stores. The alternative to all this is to keep chick- Personally, I think that the 1,000-watt ens only during the warmer months. This heaters are ludicrously overpowered, and is practical with pastured broilers, but not even the 200-watt units are questionable. with hens, because hens must generally Yes, they have a thermostat to turn them be overwintered. off before the water gets too hot, but if you have multiple waterers, the big heaters Too-Hot Water will overload your wiring. I think a 50-watt birdbath heater is more appropriate if the If your water is too hot in the summertime, power is connected all the time. Higher it will prevent the chickens from drinking wattages only make sense if you supply all they need to keep cool. This will hurt power intermittently. production and may even lead to deaths. I know of two effective methods to keep water cool. One is to shade the areas con- taining the waterers, so no matter how hot the water was when it entered the shadedA birdbath heater, such area, it will have time to cool down toas this unit from K&H air temperature by the time it reachesManufacturing (www. the chickens.khmfg.com, 719-591-6950), is a simple way of This works even better if the waterers holdkeeping water drinkable a lot of water, because when the valve opensin buckets and pans. and lets in a little bit of water to top things off, it is diluted by the large volume of air- temperature water already there. When I dump the water from my hen water- ers on a sunny day, the incoming water is I don’t approve of using light bulbs under often scalding hot, while the water I just waterers—too scary. dumped was only lukewarm. Overhead heat lamps will keep just about The second method is to have the water any waterer from freezing, and may not be flowing continuously, at a high enough rate too expensive if you put them on a ther- that the feeder hoses can’t act as a solar mostatic switch and keep the waterers in a water heater. In hot climates, this might place that isn’t freezing cold all winter. pay off big, because the chickens will drink By the way, chickens don’t like drinking more water if it’s cool. ice-cold water, so taking the chill off will I’ve been told that garden hose sometimes improve production. splits when used in a hot climate. ThisPage 4 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  5. 5. hasn’t happened to me – but I don’t live in comfortable environment for chickens, whoa hot climate. are nowhere near as fond of sunlight and wide-open spaces as you might think.Stray Voltage Brooks have disadvantages, though. TheyI have already mentioned stray voltage in aren’t always available, are immovable,the context of bucket heaters. They can also are useless for penned birds, and may beplague an automatic watering system for no too challenging for broilers, who can beapparent reason (though it will be related too clumsy to manage even shallow streamsomehow to AC power or electric fencing). banks. They also are prone to flood andYou should suspect stray voltage whenever tend to serve as predator highways.your chickens aren’t thriving and there’s no If you can deal with these issues, havingapparent reason for it. Try watering them stream-watered poultry can be extremelywith waterers that are filled by hand and satisfying. I used this method for a while,are nowhere near electric fencing or any- until the coyotes became bolder. But it wasthing metal. If the chickens start to drink great while it lasted.from these and avoid your regular water- Wers, there’s a problem—maybe a mechanical ater-problem, maybe stray voltage. Buckets ing from Watering from buckets has its place. Its buck-I once had stray voltage because I used an place is in the past.extension cord with a missing ground pin ets has its place. Itsto hook up a bucket heater. The chickens True, watering from buckets has its advan- place is in the past.would dip their beaks in the water, squawk, tages. It’s simple, stone-age technology Piped water is theand avoid the waterer from then on. with minimal equipment costs and no fine most important points to learn. But it’s unbelievably labor-Adding a ground fault circuit interrupter labor-saving device intensive. Not only is lugging water around(GFCI) did nothing; they don’t trip until for your poultry in buckets the worst possible use of lim-there’s a lot more stray current than was ited time and energy, it forces you to keep operation.present at the waterer. Fixing the ground a ludicrously demanding schedule. If yourcircuit worked. The best way to fix theground circuit turned out to be using intact chickens run out of water for even a briefcords and to place a ground rod near the period on hot days, they will be stunted orwaterer. To create a portable ground, I put killed—and it’s not that much better on coola metal outlet box on top of a convenient days. You must always return to the chick-length of galvanized electrical conduit, ens before they run out of water, just so youwhich I stick into the earth near my bucket can pour them another drink. On hot days,heaters. This has worked very well for me. you may have to water the chickens three or four times a day, which makes poultry keep- ing even worse than dairying at tying you toTypes of Watering Systems a rigid schedule.Several general types of watering systemsmay be available. The following discus- Buckets are okay as a fallback systemsion addresses comparative advantages and when everything else has failed, but that’sshortcomings of the various systems. about it.Brooks Water from PipesA brook can be the ideal watering system Piped water is the most important labor-sav-if you happen to have one in a convenient ing device for your poultry operation. Theplace. A brook is simple, free, zero-main- chickens never run out of water on hot days;tenance, self-filling, and self-cleaning. you get to have a life. It’s a good deal. InThe water is generally cool, and, given a addition to eliminating buckets from yourfew trees or shrubs, it provides a very life and letting you plan your own schedule,www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 5
  6. 6. pipe water allows you to run cleanout hoses Because of our mild climate, we just put it and sprinklers should you desire. on top of the ground. Where it crossed in front of gates, we used lengths of garden The disadvantages of piped water systems hose, which we figure will survive vehicle are that they cost money and can require traffic better. considerable maintenance, especially if there’s a problem with the installation (such I like garden hose best because everything as a low-flow feed well or a brook with lots about it is easy. Also, I know from expe- of sediment in the water). Long lengths of rience that it survives freeze/thaw cycles hose freeze easily in cold weather and can (such as they are in Western Oregon) heat the water very hot in warm weather. very well. Garden Hose Drip Irrigation Tubing I have at least a thousand feet of garden Quarter-inch I.D. drip irrigation tubing is hose supplying water to my hens. okay for some applications. The tubing itself is inexpensive, flexible, and very strong. It Mostly I buy cheap garden hose on sale can withstand almost any pressure, thoughI like garden hose (some of it is surprisingly good and has this hardly matters because the fittings best because lasted ten years; even the worst stuff is good available for it are weak. It’s nice for con- everything for five). At roughly 15 cents a foot, a thou- necting up hanging waterers and otherabout it is easy. sand feet of hose costs $150, which isn’t too applications where garden hose is too stiff bad, in my opinion. Use only metal Y-adap- and bulky. tors, shut-off valve, and nozzles, because the plastic ones don’t survive freezing or Pressure Regulators rough handling. Low-pressure waterers require pressure reg- ulators. Some of them don’t work at house- Poly Tubing hold water pressures, while others break. Poly tubing is a black-walled plastic pipe The poultry equipment manufacturer GQF, that’s used for all kinds of agricultural out of Savannah, Georgia, sells low-cost reg- uses. The half-inch tubing is often sold in ulators through its online catalog. These are the garden section as the feeder pipe for essentially propane regulators with appro- drip irrigation systems (the branch lines use priate fittings. Our pressure regulators have smaller, highly flexible quarter-inch drip never lasted long, but our low-pressure sys- tems use brook water and freeze from time irrigation tubing). Poly tubing is cheaper to time, which may be hard on them. (www. than garden hose, but it isn’t very flexible gqfmfg.com 912-236-0651). or convenient to work with. I have a length of three-quarter-inch tubing running about 1,500 feet to the top of our broiler hill. For Intermediate Cisterns long feeder pipes like this, poly tubing is One way to get low-pressure water is to a big win because it’s cheap. I bought the have a bucket, cistern, or stock tank at tubing in 300-foot lengths. We connected the right elevation compared to the water- the lengths with plastic barb or T-fittings, ers. This supply container is fitted with a available anyplace that sells the tubing and float valve connected to the piped water sys- at most hardware stores. At every coupling tem. You get the same low-pressure water between two sections (we used plastic barb you would from any bucket-fed system, but fittings), use hose clamps to prevent the sec- the f loat valve and piped water keep tions from separating or leaking. Use hot the bucket topped off at all times, which water to soften the tubing before forcing eliminates labor. it over a barb fitting. Dishwashing liquid This also provides a reserve water makes a good lubricant. supply. I like using square four-gallonPage 6 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  7. 7. buckets because it’s easy to attach a stan- Otherwise, consider it only if you can’t getdard stock-tank float valve to one. A gar- piped water from here to there.den hose supplies water to the float valve.A length of drip irrigation tubing or garden Water Sources for Piped-Waterhose connects the waterers to the bottom of Systemsthe bucket. Water for piped systems can come from sev- eral general sources. The following discus-Cistern Systems sion focuses on the advantages and disad-A cistern system is what I call a piped-water vantages of these sources.system with a central reservoir that you fillwith something other than a pump. Unlike Brooks and Streamsan intermediate cistern, which is kept full My chickens use water pumped from awith water from a pipe, a cistern system has brook. Because I have AC power handy, Ito have water carried to it. On our broiler use an AC-powered jet pump.hill, for example, the water system relied ona stock tank filled from a tank in the back of Brook water tends to carry a lot of sedi-our pickup truck. A pipe from the bottom of ment, which is hard on both the pump andthe stock tank went to our broiler houses. the waterers. If you can, pump from a quiet backwater. A fine screen around the footThe stock tank was at the top of a hill, so the valve helps, if it doesn’t clog or restrict thewater flowed down the pipes to the broiler flow too much. (I once used a string glovehouses by gravity; we didn’t need a pump. as a quick-and-dirty foot-valve screen. ItOn flat ground, or on ground where the cis- worked great.)tern is on lower ground than the houses, apump would be necessary. To keep sediment out of the waterers, I useThe advantage of a cistern system is that a Rusco sedimentyou don’t have to carry water around in filter instead of the A Rusco strainerbuckets, and the chickens can be at any dis- usual cartridge filter. prevents crud fromtance from the ultimate water source. Some- The Rusco strainer is reaching the waterers.times you just can’t run water pipes, such designed specifically The flush-out valve atas when the chickens are on a piece of land for sediment and has the bottom ejects the accumulated sedimentwith no water and no access to any. a flush-out valve so without disassemblingThe disadvantage is that you still have to you can get rid of the the strainer.carry water around (though probably in the crud without takingback of a truck). In some ways, it combines it apart. And it hasthe disadvantages of the bucket system a permanent plastic-with those of a piped-water system. When screen strainer; youwe used this cistern system, I was particu- never need to buy a new filter cartridge.larly irked by the time lag between noticing (See www.rusco.com or 800-345-1033. Any pump/irrigation shop ought to have thesethat the broilers needed water and getting in stock.)it to them. I had to get back to the shop,empty the pickup, put the water tank in it, My jet pump is anfill the tank from the brook (which took a inexpensive all-in-long time), and drive back to the broiler hill one jet pump with abefore the chickens saw a drop of water. I use two of these power switch, pres- inexpensive, ready-to-And God help us if the pickup didn’t start! sure switch, gage, use jet pumps fromIf you’re already using a system of stock and pressure tank Harbor Freight Tools.tanks for your four-footed livestock, a cis- from Harbor Freighttern system for your poultry will fit into Tools (Look for “3/4your existing workflow, and no harm done. HP, 1-in. Cast Ironwww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 7
  8. 8. Shallow Well Pump.” at www.harborfreight. Types of Waterers com, 805-388-3000). These pumps seem to be permanently on sale for about $100. Non-Automatic Waterers Add a foot valve and some piping, and you (buckets, pans, vacuum founts) have a complete pumping system. I have Us e t he s e for used three of these pumps and I like them, emergency or sup- though obviously they can’t use the highest- plemental watering quality components. They’re so inexpensive only. I particularly that I keep meaning to buy one as a spare, disl i ke vacuum though I never have. founts. A bucket or a galvanized When I pump from a more remote loca- feed pan has many tion, where AC power is not available, I use uses, while a vac- I don’t like vacuum founts, a 12V RV diaphragm pump with a built- uum fount doesn’t. though they’re okay as in pressure switch – FloJet makes several backup waterers. models for under $100. (I bought mine from Continuous-This 12V FloJet pump J.C. Whitney, www.jcwhitney.com, 800-603- Flow Troughsis designed to provide 4383). Shurflo makes similar pumps thatwater in an RV, but I’ve In many ways, the continuous-flow troughfound them useful for are supposed to be at least as good.all kinds of on-pasture is the ideal waterer. By having water flow-water needs. You don’t need a pressure tank with these ing through it constantly, the trough is if you use them with garden hose, which self-cleaning. The water stays cool in sum- provides enough elasticity to keep the mer and doesn’t freeze in winter. It has no pump from short-cycling. I tried using one moving parts except the valve on the water with just PVC tubing, which wasn’t elastic spigot. Once installed, it can run for years enough. The pump short-cycled like mad, without attention. running for a fraction of a second, pausing It takes a lot of water to do this, of course, for a few seconds, then running again. This and the concept is best-suited to permanent is annoying and hard on the pump. When installations such as laying houses. Contin- I added fifty feet of garden hose, it would uous troughs can be a pain if you have to run when water was being used, and shut adjust the height all the time, as you would off and stay off when it wasn’t. for broilers, and getting rid of the waste- water can be a nuisance. Continuous-flow Diaphragm pumps are very simple and troughs were very common in confinement easy to work with. I ran mine from an over- houses fifty years ago. the-hill car battery, and it would run the pump for weeks before discharging. This is Float-Valve Waterers because chickens don’t drink all that much, Float-valve waterers use the same nine- so the pump doesn’t use much electricity. teenth-century technology as the fill valve on a toilet. These waterers operate at any Well Water and City Water pressure, are very difficult to clog with City water can be used as-is. (If you have algae or sediment, and are freeze-proof if strong anti-chlorine views, you probably they have metal valve assemblies. have a carbon filter inline with the water As you would expect from a product with all supply anyway). If your well water is good these advantages, float-valve poultry water- enough for you, it’s good enough for the ers are hard to find! GQF sells float-valve chickens—but it might have too many par- troughs in 18-inch and 36-inch lengths, ticulates for the valves in the waterers to and you can also buy just the float-valve work reliably. In that case, use a Rusco part for use with your own trough or pan. strainer, as described above. (www.gqfmfg.com, 912-236-0651). BrowerPage 8 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  9. 9. and Kuhl also damage (at least, they can if you use flexiblehave f loat-valve hose to hook them up with). Like float-valvetrough waterers. waterers, these work equally well at(Brower: www. any pressure.browerequip.com,800-553-1791. The mechanism is not as crud-resistant as a A float-valve trough fromKuh l: www. Brower. (The hose fitting at float valve, and the waterer includes a finekuhlcorp.com, the end isn’t visible, but it’s brass screen to protect the valve. If this908-782-5696.) there.) clogs, the waterer stops working. You need better water quality for this kind of watererA l t h ou g h i t’s than with float-valve waterers.not a particularly good poultry waterer, I Little Giant bowluse Little Giant “Everfull Bowl Automatic These waterers have been around for more waterer.Waterer,” which is a fancy name for a three- than fifty years. The old ones are identicalgallon galvanized feed pan with a float to the new ones. Sometimes you can get avalve. These are available in feed and pet good deal on old ones.supply stores everywhere. They’re rugged I normally screw these waterers onto a foot-and reliable. However, they have no guard long length of half-inch galvanized pipe.to keep the chickens off them, and the water The weight of the pipe helps them to hangtends to be very dirty because of this. straight. At the top of the pipe I put a barbI use them because they’re available at my fitting for whatever kind of hose or tubinglocal feed store, so I can always get one in a I’m using to hook it up. You can also gethurry, and because my sheep and goats can brackets for attaching these waterers todrink from them, too. Also, these waterers the wall.are practically the only ones big enough to Always use two pairs of pliers when adust-hold a bucket heater. ing the two nuts that control the water level in the bowl. They will work loose if you don’t. Similarly, you should screw the bowl tightly onto the stem, or it will eventually fall off, flooding the whole area. Bell Waterers Bell waterers are all-plastic hanging water-The Little Giant Everfull A homemade slotted pan ers, similar in concept to the bowl waterer.Bowl tends to get fouled cover, like the one from Because they are all-plastic, they may notby the chickens poop- the 1930s shown above, withstand household water pressures anding in it, but is rugged, would keep the chick- can crack if frozen solid.reliable, and available ens from perching on theeverywhere. waterer. Bell waterers are very popular, though. They are big and provide a lot more drink-Bowl Waterers (Little Giant) ing space than most other waterers. They can be used with chicks and full-sizedThese are my favorite waterers for use birds. They’re inexpensive. They tend toindoors or with pasture pens. Unlike most come with handy mounting kits that make it A Plasson bell watererof the float-valve waterers discussed so far, easy to do a professional job when hangingthese can be lowered almost to floor level them from the roof joists.so little chicks can use them, and theyare more compact and adjustable than They work very well if you filter the water,float-valve waterers. You can buy them in protect them from freezing, and keep theany feed store. Though the water bowl is pressure within specification (which variesplastic, the working parts are brass, and according to manufacturer, but five poundsthese waterers can freeze solid without per square inch is common).www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 9
  10. 10. Many different manufacturers make bell water. Instead of a float valve, they have waterers: Plasson, Kuhl, and others. a yellow trigger arm that lets water in when the chickens peck at it. It takes the Nipple Waterers chickens zero time to figure out how to use these waterers. Nipple waterers are standard now in the confinement industry. They are very sim- I like these better than nipple waterers, ple, with a stainless steel trigger stick- though I wouldn’t use them where litter ing straight down from the bottom of the might get into them, because I wouldn’t want waterer. When a chicken pecks at the trig- to be cleaning them all the time. These areNipple waterer ger, a drop of water rolls down and into the great waterers for brooder or hospital cages. chicken’s mouth. (www.gqfmfg.com, 912-234-9978.) Because they have no bowl, there’s noth- ing to clean. The trigger is self-cleaning How Many Waterers? because it’s washed by the water rolling Hav i ng enough down it. waterers is crucial. It’s best to haveB Installing nipple waterers is easy; there irds natu- more than you need, are kits for gluing adapters to PVC rally tilt because they fail pipe. Many installations use a weird sometimes. Every their heads kind of PVC pipe with a square cross- group of chickensup to drink, so nip- section; others use ordinary half-inch should have a mini-ple drinkers have a PVC pipe. mum of two water-behavioral Nipple waterers must be set at the cor- ers. When using theadvantage. rect height—high enough for the chickens traditional “pasture to peck upwards at them. They are also pen with a bucket of Cup waterer finicky about water pressure and are not water on top,” there freeze-proof. should be two buck- ets as well as two waterers. Also, if the I don’t like nipple waterers for small-farm chickens ever run out of water, you can limit work. The payoff is not enough to outweigh the mob scene when the water returns by persnickity height requirements and pres- having space for all the chickens to drink sure adjustments. at once. Nipple waterers leak sometimes, especially (Hint: if the water runs out, put out some if your water quality isn’t perfect. You need pans of water temporarily to reduce fighting.) more filtering to prevent this. Like other waterers, it’s best to use nipple waterers The following table gives the amount in an environment where wetness under of waterer space recommended for hens the water doesn’t translate to wet litter or and broilers: wet chickens. FarmTek has a line Number of Chickens Per Waterer of nipple waterers Type 8-foot Troughs Bell or Bowl Cups or Nipples and accessories. Layers 200 25 8 (www.farmtek.com, Broilers 200 60 9 800-327-6835). Waterer recommendations from North & Bell’s Commercial Chicken Production Manual. Cup Waterers GQF has a good line of low-pressure water- Feeders ing cups. Cup waterers have tiny bowls When I collect eggs, I start by scattering a that hold only a couple of tablespoons of bucketful of whole wheat on the pasture forPage 10 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  11. 11. the hens. The same pasture has four huge it with straw or some other familiarrange feeders that hold six hundred pounds footing.of feed each. Why use feeders at all if you • Hot sun, heavy rain, and strongcan just scatter feed on the ground? Why winds will keep the chickensscatter feed on the ground when you have indoors.these nice feeders? It surprises people that chickens aren’t bigFeeders aren’t necessary for feeds with a fans of sunshine in hot weather, but it’slarge particle size, that won’t dissolve in true. In warm sunny weather, they will domoderate wetness, and when you have a most of their foraging and feeding early inplace that’s not too wet or filthy where you the morning and late in the afternoon. Withcan scatter the feed. hens, this twice-a-day feeding is okay, andBut, realistically, scattering feed on the all your feeders can be outside. Broilers,ground is best left for whole or coarsely though, need to eat more often than this.cracked grain fed in small enough amounts Accessibilitythat the chickens eat it quickly. That way, all Tthe grain is actually eaten by the chickens. Snow, ice, and mud may make it difficult he rule ofIf you feed too much, wild birds and rodents to bring feed to the outdoor feeders. I live in Western Oregon, which has a very mild thumb is towill get a lot of it, or it may spoil. Feederskeep the feed clean, dry, and unspoiled. climate, but once in a while we have snow keep the feed on the ground for a week or two. This hap- pan at the level ofScattering scratch feed helps make the hens pened to us a couple of years ago. Our hen- the chickens’ backs,friendlier, and they come running out for houses were scattered all over the farm, and and to fill the feedthe treat, giving you a good look at them. the labor required to pull feed from houseThis is especially useful at egg-collect- pans no more than to house in a child’s toboggan was inde-ing time, since the hens who were loitering one-third full. scribable. Outdoor feeding has its place,around the nests get out of your way. Also, but its place wasn’t then and there!it helps identify sick hens who can’t work upany enthusiasm for a treat, and stay in the Similarly, our two-wheel-drive pickup is con-chicken house instead. venient for moving feed in the dry months, but we can’t take it onto the pasture duringIssues With Feeders on Range the wet season. Outdoor feeding may have to be seasonal, or you may need to keep theWeather chickens closer to home during the winter to shorten travel distances.Obviously, outdoor feeders are subjectedto more weather than indoor feeders, andthis can lead to trouble. In fact, the feeders Wastagedon’t actually have to be outdoors to have Feed is easily wasted from shallow feedersthese problems—many pasture pens and or from deep feeders that are overfilled.range houses let in enough weather for the Chickens will scatter feed in all directions,same issues to apply: but won’t eat the dropped feed unless it’s relatively clean. If the feed is in large par- • Feed with a small particle size can ticles (pellets, whole grains), more feed will blow away in a strong wind. be picked up off the ground. • Wet feed will ferment and mold. The rule of thumb is to keep the feed pan at • Frozen or snow-covered feed is the level of the chickens’ backs, and to fill unavailable to the chickens. the feed pans no more than one-third full. • Chickens don’t like walking on The latter rule is hard to follow with a lot snow, and may refuse to go outside of equipment, which is sized for chicks, not unless you shovel the snow or cover full-sized birds. More about that later.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 11
  12. 12. Wastage also happens when finely ground a little framing, and a pair of skids would feed blows away in the wind, or when feed give a feed area sixteen feet square. I leave gets wet. Chickens like wet feed, but if more the issues of adding a gate and even a roof wet feed is put in front of them than they to you. can eat, it goes bad quickly, especially in Another way of excluding larger livestock is hot weather. with some kind of barrier on the feeder. A Thus, feeders with a deep pan, kept only chicken can easily reach its head and neck one-third full of large-particle feed, with through a two-inch gap, but four-footed some kind of shield or roof overhead to livestock can’t. An arrangement of slats keep the rain off, provide the recipe for low or strips of welded-wire fencing can keep feed wastage. out other livestock, but the feeder must be heavy or rigidly attached to something that The other method is to feed only as much is, or the livestock might push it over. as the chickens will eat at once. This minimizes wastage, but tends to result I toyed briefly with electrifying feeders. I in underfeeding. had a tall metal trough feeder that stood on legs about 18-inches high. Hens wouldH orses, Keeping Other Livestock Out hop up to the perches on the sides of the cows, feeder and eat. I put each leg in a five-gal- Horses, cows, sheep, goats, and pigs all lon bucket by way of insulation, and hooked sheep, love chicken feed. They should be excluded the metal feeder up to an electric fence.goats, and pigs all for a variety of reasons. Giving free-choice The hens didn’t care (they were up off thelove chicken feed. chicken feed to ruminants isn’t good for ground, just like a bird on a high-tensionThey should be them, and you can’t afford it, anyway. wire, which is what gave me the idea), butexcluded for a vari- Excluding other livestock can be diffi- the goats really hated that feeder. But I gaveety of reasons. cult. Goats will jump perimeter fences, up on the concept because I kept shocking while sheep will often just plow right myself on it. through. More about this in the section on electric fencing. Vermin Problems James Dryden’s classic Poultry Breeding Outdoor feeders attract mice, rats, wild and Management (Orange Judd Publish- birds, raccoons, and other freeloaders. ing, 1916) shows a chicken feeding area My biggest problems to date come from rats. surrounded by a portable corral made of To keep the area around my range feeders boards and mounted on skids. mud-free, I put them up on wooden pallets. This worked so well that I stopped moving the feeders every time I refilled them. Soon the area under the pallets was swarmingThe cattle in the upper with rats. It was disgusting.photo are kept out ofthe feed through the I discarded the pallets and resumed mysimple corral shown in practice of moving the feeders every timethe lower photo. The I refilled them—and I moved them a lotcorral presents no further than before. This exposed the tun-barrier to the nels under the feeders every time they werechickens. The farmerenters through a gate. moved, and forced rats to trek to a new loca- tion and dig again each time. There must have been some kind of predator waiting, because it wasn’t long before I didn’t see rats anymore. I’ve noticed that full-grown chickens can walk right through the mesh in lightweight Rats are the main reason why I don’t like galvanized cattle panels. Four such panels, putting feeders in range houses unless theyPage 12 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  13. 13. are moved frequently. This isn’t a prob- inches deep. That’s a great size when feed-lem with daily-move pens, but I only move ing full-sized birds.my henhouses a few times a year. Feed As mentioned before, the top of the troughwould be a rat magnet. (I’m told that this is should be even with the chickens’ backs. Ifespecially bad with houses with wooden the height isn’t adjustable, you end up hav-floors. The area between the floor and the ing to keep several sets of troughs for birdsground, like the area under my pallets, is of different ages. To some extent you need toa safe haven for rats. If the feed is in out- do this anyway, because a pan deep enoughdoor feeders, the rats are always at risk to prevent feed waste with larger birds is toofrom owls.) deep for chicks.Kinds of Feeders Traditionally, chicken troughs have some kind of guard, reel, or wire across the topThere are rea l ly only three k inds to keep the chickens from perching on theof feeders: troughs or dust-bathing in them. These 1. No feeder (feeding on the ground, aren’t strictly necessary, but they help. which we have already discussed). They tend to make filling the trough a Y 2. Troughs and other kinds of shallow nuisance, though. ou can put pans. Troughs are often built with an inward-fac- just about 3. Hopper-type feeders with a feed ing lip at the top to help keep the chick- any kind of reserve that empties into a pan. ens from flipping feed out, and may have feed into a trough, Examples are tube feeders and a grille, like the one shown earlier on the including liquids. A range feeders. Brower trough waterer, which both reduces trough is the univer- wastage and helps prevent feed loss.There are also automatic feeders that use sal feeder.an electric motor to run an augur or chainto move feed around, but I don’t think theseare practical for outdoor use.TroughsThe simple trough feeder is poorly under-stood by modern farmers. Hopper-typefeeders are so common that people have for-gotten what trough feeders are about.The advantage of a trough is that, whenit comes right down to it, it’s just a pan A traditional wooden hen trough.that you pour feed into. Nothing couldbe simpler. Types of TroughsYou can put just about any kind of feed into Commercial troughs are generally madea trough, including liquids. A trough is the out of galvanized steel or plastic. As I haveuniversal feeder. Because of this, it should already mentioned, I don’t know of anybe easy to clean! commercial troughs that are big enough for full-sized chickens.Troughs need to hold enough feed to get the The best materials for home-made troughschickens from one feeding to another with- are wood or large-diameter PVC pipe.out running empty (or just barely runningempty). Most troughs on the market are Wooden troughs are easy to make but aretoo shallow and too narrow for this. I can’t heavy. My experience is that non-galvanizedimagine what the manufacturers are think- nails don’t have enough holding power. Ining. I have some ancient hen troughs that fact, if I were to build any more woodenare eight feet long, ten inches wide, and six troughs, I’d use screws instead.www.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 13
  14. 14. There are any number of wooden trough • Attach chains (or ropes, or baling designs, some quite strange. Most don’t twine) to the eyebolts and hang the have any kind of rain shield, which is fine if trough. the trough is used for supplemental feeding, My only real concern about this design is but is a problem if you want to use it to keep that a long trough might sag in the middle. feed in front of the chickens all the time. Maybe you get extra credit if you don’t My favorite rain shield for a wooden trough simply glue caps on the end, but glue on is single sheet of corrugated roofing, laid threaded adaptors and have screw-on end flat. The water will drip off whichever end caps. That way, you can unscrew the ends is lowest, and the sheet is wide enough and hose out the trough more easily. to give some shelter to the chickens. The roof should have some means of attaching One final note: it used to be fairly com- it securely to the trough, which should be mon for poultry houses to have feed troughs heavy enough to keep everything from blow- attached on the outside of the houses, even ing away in strong winds. though the chickens were inside. A length of two-inch by four-inch welded wire allowed the chickens to reach the troughs fromThis range feeder from90 years ago uses slats to inside the houses. The advantage of thiskeep the chickens from system is that the farmer can fill the troughdust-bathing inside. without going inside the house. This is worthThe use of a plank roof considering if you’re tired of removing andinstead of something replacing the feeders in your pasture pensmore weatherproof tellsyou that this farm was in with each daily move. It’s the same conceptCalifornia. as nest boxes that are accessible from the outside, but applied to feeders.A traditional rangefeeder from the 1930s.The roof lifts off for Hoppersrefilling. Internal par- Hoppers are just a feed bin that emptiestitions allow differentkinds of feed to be used. into a trough or pan. Tube feeders areNote that rats will take like that.up residence under thewire platform unless the The point of hoppers is that you don’t havefeeder is moved between to fill them as often as troughs. They mightfillings. hold feed for a day or for a month. Argu- ably, the sweet spot is when they hold at least a week’s worth of feed, so you can fill Troughs made from PVC pipe are the com- the feeders on Saturday and have only light ing thing. I haven’t built any myself, and chores the rest of the week. I haven’t figured out all the mechanical issues. The basic concept for a trough that Managing feed hoppers is practically the you’re going to hang from chains at either same as troughs. The differences are: end is: • Feed flows differently depending on • Take a length of large-diameter PVC its particle size and weight. A tube pipe (most people use 4-inch pipe, feeder that does great with feed pel- which may be too small) and glue lets might leave most of the feed on caps to both ends. the ground if filled with light oats. Most hoppers have some way of • Remove about one-third of the adjusting the opening between the diameter of the pipe, starting a little reservoir and the pan. Getting this way past the cap. right can be a nuisance. Lightweight • Add eyebolts to hang the trough feeds need a much narrower open- from. ing than heavier ones.Page 14 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  15. 15. • There’s more feed in a hopper. This of rainfall, mostly in the winter, and I have means that any kind of accident is this problem only when there’s a problem more expensive. with the lid or rain shield on a range feeder. • The feed is around longer. An So it’s not black and white; the devil is in amount of rain and condensation the details, as usual. that wouldn’t matter in a trough It may be easier to get good results with a that’s emptied twice a day might range feeder sitting out in the weather than lead to a serious mold problem with with a tube feeder in a pasture pen. It can a hopper that holds a week’s feed. get pretty damp in a pasture pen, and the • The hopper is heavier. If suspended lack of lids and rain shields on tube feeders from a chicken house, it can strain can be a real liability. the structure—or your back. Types of Hopper These days, you basically have your choice of tube feeders and range feeders, both of which have a round feed pan on the bottom A and a cylindrical feed reservoir on top. The range difference between the two is that a range feeder feeder sits on the ground and has a lid and sits on the rain shield to keep the weather out, while a ground and has a tube feeder is suspended from above and lid and rain shield lacks the weather protection. to keep the weather In the old days there were many different out, while a tube rectangular hoppers, all of which looked feeder is suspended more or less like hog feeders or creep feeders. from above and My local feed stores have two kinds of tube lacks the weather feeders; smaller ones for chicks and larger protection. ones for older birds. The smaller ones holdA tarp-covered cattle panel provides shade for ten to fifteen pounds of feed, while thetwo ancient galvanized range feeders on my larger ones hold roughly thirty pounds offarm. Note the waterproof lid and rain shield.Modern versions are generally made of plastic, feed. So it takes two of the larger feeders tobut look pretty much the same. hold a fifty-pound sack of feed. The issues with pan height are the same as with troughs. Height is easy to adjust with hanging tube feeders. Range feeders are generally non-adjustable. Mine are Big Dutchman turkey feeders that are probably fifty years old. They work fine with hens and older pullets. In fact, smaller pullets do okay, too, since they climb right into the feed pan to eat. Pan fullness issues are also the same asTube feeders in a cattle-panel hoophouse. with troughs. As already described, most of the larger hoppers have some kind of adjustment (though tube feeders for chicksIn Pastured Poultry Profits, Joel Sala- may not).tin reports poor results with tube feeders,because the feed gets wet and refuses to I don’t know if anyone still makes steelflow. I live in an area with over 60 inches range feeders. What I see in the catalogswww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 15
  16. 16. are plastic range feeders from Kuhl, which need to provide enough feeder space that I’ve heard good things about but haven’t all the chickens can eat at the same time used myself. I’m very pleased with the dura- (or scatter some of the feed on the ground bility of my antique steel range feeders. I to prevent pile-ups). Otherwise follow the can back my pickup too far and whack them guidelines in the following table: with my tailgate, and they don’t care. The Number of Chickens per Feeder plastic ones probably 8-foot Troughs Range Feeders Tube Feeders require more TLC. Layers 50 50 15 The ideal size for a Broilers 66 66 33 large range feeder is Recommendations from North & Bell’s Commercial Chicken Production Manual. one where you can stand on the tailgate of a pickup and tip The table specifies a lot more feeder space feed sacks into the feeder. If you have to than most farmers provide. Lack of feeder hoist the sacks so you can pour them into space causes subtle problems, where the the feeder, it’s too tall. Also, you want the weaker or more timid chickens are excludedT range feeder to be short enough that you from the feeders by their more aggressive he flock is don’t have to climb inside to remove caked flockmates. The flock is healthier, more uni- healthier, feed from the bottom. form, and more productive if there’s plenty more uni- of feeder space. On a big farm, you’d want to invest in a feedform, and more pro- wagon with (for example) a power take off-ductive if there’s driven feed augur. Then you could use bulk Fencingplenty of feeder rather than bagged feed. I knew a farmer Chickens were rarely fenced in the old days;space. who did this. He used an elderly grain it would have kept them from foraging, wagon, which was a trailer used originally which was their sole source of feed. In those as a way of shuttling grain between a com- far-off days, pigs and chickens roamed the bine and the granary. It held a ton or two streets, and you would fence areas to keep of feed. The PTO-driven augur would send livestock out, not in. the feed up a tube that looked like a length Eventually, poultry keeping’s focus shifted of stovepipe and was mounted so it could be from scavenger chickens to chickens that positioned where you wanted it. are actually fed real feed, and where forag- He would hitch the grain wagon to his trac- ing is less important. tor, back it under his free-standing outdoor Later, increasing environmental conscious- grain bin, fill it, and then tow it to each ness caused governments to stop paying a range feeder in turn, positioning the feed bounty on everything that moved, and pred- tube over the top of the feeder and engag- ator populations soared. A hundred years ing the PTO to start the flow of feed into the ago, the most serious predator was human range feeder. He got all of this equipment chicken thieves, because the predatory (grain bin, grain wagon, and range feeders) animals were practically extinct. Now the at a nominal price because it was consid- animal predators have multiplied enor- ered obsolete or too small for modern farm- mously, and they’re hungry. ing. His outdoor feed bin was filled directly from the feed mill’s bulk feed truck, which So for today’s poultry keeper, fencing is had its own feed-augur rig. mostly to keep predators out, and only partly to keep chickens in. On many farms, How Many Feeders? there’s no need to keep chickens in at all, because sheer distance takes care of that. As with waterers, the amount of feeder space you need depends partly on how likely the Do electric fences work with chickens? Yes, chickens are to run out of feed. If you ever they do. Although chickens aren’t easily let them run out of feed on purpose, you zapped by fences, because their feathersPage 16 ATTRA Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
  17. 17. are good insulators, they don’t like getting I recommend using two wires everywherezapped and will avoid electric fences. except where you drive onto the pasture, where you should see if you can get awayThere are two kinds of electric fence used with a single wire. You can drive over a one-for chickens. One is a simple one- or two- wire fence without bothering to turn it off.wire fence, and the other is electronetting. Don’t make the wire too tight when you firstOne- and Two-Wire Electric Fences install it. With several feet of slack, you can bow the fence in one direction or the otherThe oldest kind of electric chicken fence and mow along the line where it used to be.is a single wire about five inches off the Tensioning the fence is just a matter of pull-ground, or a pair of wires, one at five inches ing up a step-in fencepost and moving itand another at ten inches. I’ve seen sev- out of line far enough that the fenceeral references to such fences from sources becomes tight.between 1950 and 1960, but the practicewas largely forgotten when commercial poul- Buy lots of fenceposts. Buy them by thetry went to 100 percent confinement. How- case. Anywhere the ground is uneven and the wire touches the ground, put in Tever, these simple low fences are still com- another post. Otherwise, you have to raise he oldestmon to keep raccoons out of sweet corn. the fence too high, and predators will kind of elec- squeeze underneath. tric chicken Do these low fences really work? They do! fence is a single wire My dog is terrified of them. I once watched about five inches off a coyote chase a hen that was outside the the ground, or a pair fence. The hen raced past the fence, but of wires, one at five the coyote stopped so fast that I swear I inches and another heard tires squeal. Even in the heat of the at ten inches. chase, there was no way he was going near that fence! Raccoons aren’t afraid of fences the way dogs and coyotes are, and apparently will prowl around them looking for a way toHens confined by a single electric fence wire. squeeze through without touching the wire. And if the voltage drops, they’ll be inside.I have two extensive fences of this kind,each enclosing several acres. They are I’ve had trouble with bobcats going over thevery inexpensive. I put lightweight T-posts wire, but I’m not sure that even a high fenceat the corners and use step-in fence posts would deter them.everywhere else (I also have some fiber- The behavior of the chickens themselves isglass fence posts, but the step-in posts worth noting here. Chickens usually don’tare better). Use doughnut insulators at realize that they ought to fly over things theythe corners; snap-on T-post insulators will can see through, so they rarely fly over onepull off. of these fences. They don’t like the fences,I use aluminum fence wire because it’s but if it starts getting dark and they’re out- side the fence, they’ll go right through it tohighly visible and easy to work with. Poly- get home.wire (plastic rope with stainless steel con-ductors woven in) also works, but it’s not A panicky chicken will pop right throughas easy to work with, and it sags more. It’s this kind of fence. This means that a fox instronger, though, which sometimes matters the henyard will scatter the flock to the fourif you’re trying to keep sheep or pigs from winds and will only kill one or two. Withstampeding through your fences. ordinary chicken-wire fences, the chickenswww.attra.ncat.org ATTRA Page 17