What exactly does it look like to raise chickens out in the field. Here I'll run you through a typical time of doing chores. Admittedly, raising pastured chickens is more labour intensive and the chickens are the most labour intensive part of our chore routine.
But in the evening when the sun shines across the field, the birds sing, gentle breezes blow and our whole family is working outside, well then it's pretty great too! Don't get me wrong, it is often also very hot when water sprays feel pretty good and sometimes it rains:) that's just part of farming with nature
As of yet, our chicken chores are not very streamlined or well setup. It's part of the pain of starting small and starting with nothing but we're OK with that.
We store feed in the barn so first step is filling feed buckets and loading them into the wagon. From there we walk out to the field, wherever the tractors are. Usually, we have an old manure spreader left in the field with a water tote on the back. We do not have water lines strung up or buried at this point. If the manure spreader is not out there, we have a tote on an old truck that we can drive out there too.
Filling all the feeders is pretty simple and while in there filling feeders we grab waterers and set them out.
All of our tractors are on wheels, with levers to lift them up. Once all four corners are off the ground we can push them forward to where we want them. They're a bit big and clumsy but it works pretty good, as long as we don't try moving in the dark when the birds are sleepy.
The last step is filling the waterers from the manure spreader tote and hauling them back to the tractors, which is no light matter with 5 gallon waterers! It's a good workout program:)
Shut the doors, check for holes and they're all tucked in for the night. Grabbing the children's hands, we walk back to the barn and that is done for another day!
Last year the whole routine took us 15 minutes morning and evening but this year we'll have double the chickens so I'm sure it will take somewhat longer.
Now I'm all excited for sunlit evenings doing chores! Do you think you'd like raising chickens? Have you had any experience raising them?