Monthly Archives: April 2011

Broiler Pasture Shelter Plans

Last year in this post I said I would upload plans for building broiler shelters.  Well, funny thing happened…I got busy building and farming and stuff like that.  A year later, it took a blog reader to remind me that I never got around to uploading those plans.  Well, here they are!  I know a lot of people are interested in knowing how to build these, so I hope this is helpful.  All credit for this design goes to Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm and Tyler and Bradd Jones of Afton Field Farm.

For some pictures of the building process see my previous post .  If you have any questions that are not addressed here, let me know in the comments below.

One note about using PALRUF corrugated PVC : this stuff is on the spendy side, but I think it’s worth it. It’s much lighter than corrugated metal siding, and it is durable.   In our small town we could only find it at Home Depot.

I don’t appear to have saved a close-up picture of the dolly that is used for moving the pens.  I will take a picture of it (I really promise this time!)  and take note of the dimensions so that it can be replicated easily.  The dolly is the genius part of this whole project.  It allows a 120 lb woman like me to be able to move the shelters effortlessly.  (Granted, I can pull them without the dolly but it’s pretty backbreaking, as my chiropractor bill will attest.)

Without further ado, here is the link to the plans.  Go grow some chickens!

Broiler Shelter Plans 2011



Filed under Project Start a Farm

Shoot Me Now

Before all this wicked weather rolled in, there was sunshine and lots of it.  The sunshine will come back.  I have to keep telling myself that or else I’ll curl up in a ball and cry about all this unending infernal mud, wind and damp.  The sunshine will come back.

So, back when the sun was shining on Friday, our friend Joe Murray (see his work here: came out to our place and shot a photo session with Keith and me.    He’s quite talented and so fun to work with!  What could be more awesome than pretending to be a model for 3 hours straight and hiking around in a pasture in patent leather red heels?

Everybody says that owning a farm must be such a romantic occupation.  Why, yes!  Here’s a glimpse into our everyday life on the farm.

*Stifles giggles*


Filed under Anecdotes

Springtime on the farm

We’ve been preparing brooders for the last week now.  Cleaning out the old bedding with a front-end loader, shoveling in the new.  Putting out green mouse bait, which Emmie promptly ate.  (Iron gut, that dog has.)   Washing chick feeders and sanitizing mason-jar waterers.  Replacing burned-out 250 watt heat lamps with bright new ones.

This morning, between sunbursts and rainstorms, 310 little Cornish-Cross broiler chicks arrived on the late-delivery truck at the Philomath Post Office.  Their approach was much anticipated.  I’d been waiting all morning for word on the whereabouts of my little babies, and they had been missing in transit for a few hours.  That’s never a desirable event, especially on a cold April morning.  So, when my phone rang, I headed straight for the Post Office to pick up three big boxes of chirping chicks.

The first thing they did when they were unloaded into their new home, was huddle under the heat lamps to warm up.  630 miles on a USPS plane is a rough journey when you’re only 24 hours old!

There’s absolutely nothing more heart-warming than a flock of yellow puff-balls drifting off to sleep under a toasty heat lamp.

The more adventurous chicks soon found the food and water sources.  They are hungry little guys, as this is the first time they’ve ever eaten.  For such little babies, they are amazingly adept at learning how to eat and drink.

I think they’re going to be just fine.  Right now, they’re all tucked into bed, well-insulated in their little brooder houses.  It’s going to be a cold night (snow showers, what?!?) but that’s the name of the game when your broiler season starts in April.  And so Farm Season 2011 begins…it’s bound to be a fun year!


Filed under Uncategorized

Sometimes I dream of the Dominican Republic…

…and I don’t want to wake up.

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Filed under Uncategorized