Jan 31, 2011
Fixed houses (reban) where the chickens come out to range and go back in at night is not a good solution to free-ranging slow growing breeds in our wet, humid climate. As the chickens can take up to 100 days to reach marketable size, the area around the house would be foul in no time.
The solution is a movable tent, and fenced fields to keep moving the chickens onto fresh grounds.
These are how the fields look like in our farm:
These are the steps:
1. Fence up the area:
To save costs, make your own concrete posts. If you don't know how, learn. It's a skill worth learning. Wooden posts in Malaysia means cutting of jungle trees, termite problems, wood rot, etc. Concrete the bottom of the fence to keep out pigs. You can lose up to 30 chickens per night from a small family of pigs.
2. Make your own field feeders and drinkers:
You can't be a farmer without basic bar-bending and welding skills.
3. Have a stationary seine-net like area for catching the chickens:
We generally can have an area up and running for 1000 chickens within 10 days - two hoop houses, 30 field feeders, water tank and self-made line drinkers, and fencing and posts for an area that's equal to half an acre ( the grass will last about 20 days, then you have to shift the chickens to the next field. If you don't, the chickens will start having health problems).