Our first egg mobile

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Our first egg mobile
8/12/2013 3:31:00 AM

Today was a very busy day.  We got up early.  Got the farm chores done as quickly as we could.  Then took the kids to their bible study.  When they were done we went to the later service where we got to see Zoey, Leo, and CJ (Jessica’s little sister).  Then the kids were off to skating with their church group.  We headed home for a couple hours of kid free time…which we had intended to get some projecting done.

Instead we made some lunch, cleaned up a bit around the house, I wrote a blog post about how our black broilers are doing, and then we prepared for a customer farm tour.

As is normally the case, we cut the time very short to go pick up the kids.  It always amazes me how the farm can just tick the seconds away!

Once we brought the kids home mama divided up the tasks for the day.  Brush collected from around the property.  Trash picked up.  Areas organized.  Water this that or the other thing.

I took a few monsters with me to start building our new egg mobile so that we could move the egg layers from the paddocks by the house out to the 1/2 acre paddocks in the back field.  We went and picked out a trailer from the supply lot.  We ended up choosing the trailer than Grandpa Bill brought out a year or so ago.  We hooked it up to the truck, moved the various supply lot goodies away from it, and drug it to the front of my shop.

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As you can see this guy is going to need a new set of tires put on it!

This trailer was a jet ski trailer that was converted to haul a Harley.  I think it rode a little high or some how wasn’t going to work for that purpose.  So it was gifted to us after being used to move my sister-in-law’s family out to Texas.  I have had my eye on it for becoming an “egg mobile” for some time.

Then we had the folks show up for the farm tour.  Once that was done we got back to building the egg mobile.

I need the egg mobile to be able to at least house the 60 or so egg layers that we currently have – they are close to laying age.  I had already built a set of nesting boxes that had a total of 12 boxes and since 1 box will take care of 5-6 layers needs we won’t need to build any more of them at the moment.  This will satisfy our current needs but I will need to double my nesting boxes eventually….so we will leave some room for future expansion.

The egg mobile also needed to be useable by someone my size (6’-3”/300lbs) but also be useable by my smallest trooper (McKayla).  To meet those needs meant we would need a 7’ peak, a wide entrance, and some steps to make getting into the mobile coup easy.  And since this egg mobile is to be used out in the field away from the feed barn or a water sources we need to keep chicken food and water on board in fairly large quantities - so a shelf for large containers of both will be needed.  Our style of intensive pasture management (frequent rotation of critters in 1/2 acre paddocks) means that this contraption had better be pretty mobile.  And since the chickens are being left out in the field at night the coup needs to be fairly secure at night to keep the coyotes away from our birds.

Trinity watching us prep for the project

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One of the advantages to living on a farm is that you have a mini-Home Depot somewhere on the property.  We keep a supply lot stocked up with various boards, fencing supplies, and other construction bits.  This way when an emergency strikes we don’t have to take an hour to drive to the nearest HD some 20 miles away.  But also, when I get a wild hair up my butt about completing a project, it can just get done!

Unlike pretty much all of my other projects which are at least drawn out on graph paper and mentally measured (if not build in a 3d studio), this project was “design as we go”.  Here is the first wall.

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Both walls up and connected.

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The ridge beam is up.

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Here we got the door opening in place.  We will most likely have two narrow doors that open to either side so that they can be locked in an open position during the day.

 

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The first roof supports are in.

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No new progress…I just like documenting my projects.  Oddly enough it hadn’t changed even though the sun had gone down.

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Tomorrow we will finish the framing, get the nesting boxes in, put some sheet metal on the roof, wrap it in chicken wire, and hang some doors and window flaps.  I will also have to weld on a shelf up front for the 55 gallon drum of water and a large trash can of chicken feed.

  • chickens
  • egg-layers
  • eggs
  • projects
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