HOG SLAT BLOG – U.S.

FARMSTEAD Chickens Growing Appetite 0

The FARMSTEAD broiler flock has a growing appetite! Feed is always available for them, but when they are really hungry they all want to be at the feeder together. The 30 pound hanging poultry feeder provides plenty of space and the needed capacity to keep multiple days worth of feed available to a smaller flock or meet the feeding needs of a larger flock without having to refill as often. The design of the hanging feeder allows 3 different adjustments to control the amount of feed that flows into the pan which helps reduce wasted feed that might be pushed out of the pan if the level was too high. We started the birds as chicks using the 15 pound hanging poultry feeder, which is the same design but does not feature an adjustable feed flow rate.

30 pound hanging feeder pan

As you can see in the video above, the feeder is hanging from the chicken tractor’s roof frame which serves multiple beneficial purposes. First, when the feeder is hanging as opposed to sitting on the ground, it discourages the birds from trying to scratch the feed and also makes the red edge of the feed pan an unstable platform which discourages the birds from trying to perch or roost on the feeder. Next, when the feeder is hanging you can move the coop without having to pull the feeder out first. Lastly, when the feeder is off the ground it makes it more difficult for ants or other bugs to get into the feed.

Both models of the plastic hanging feeder are easy to clean when they become dirty or after you’ve finished raising your flock. Simply brush loose any solid debris from the feeder, soak in a tub of water and cleaning solution for 10 minutes, wipe down the interior and exterior of the feeder and then rinse clean. Hang the feeder out to dry or wipe down with paper towels and you’ll be ready to refill with feed or store until you need to feed your next flock.

 

Browse our full selection of FARMSTEAD Equipment to help you raise your poultry at www.hogslat.com/farmstead-equipment.

 

FARMSTEAD Chickens Move Outdoors 0

The FARMSTEAD broiler flock has moved outdoors! Their new home is a custom designed and built mobile “chicken-tractor” coop that is pulled forward one length each day onto fresh grass. This means there is no cleaning the coop floor and fresh grass and bugs to eat every morning. The birds took right to their new surroundings and were eating grass and foraging for bugs within minutes. The flock is now 4 weeks old and feathered enough to stay outdoors full time.

Chickens in Outdoor Tractor_Inside

 

The coop is built from treated lumber, 29 gauge painted metal and 3′ wide plastic coated metal poultry wire.  Although heavy enough to resist wind and predators, the coop can easily be pulled forward by a single person.

 

Outdoor Chicken Tractor

 

Equipped with one 3 nipple drinking bucket and a 30 pound hanging chicken feeder, the coop is plenty big enough for our 13 broiler chickens and has the capacity for around 30-35 grown birds. The feeder and water bucket are easily attached and removed for refilling or cleaning with 1/4″ Zinc Snap Hooks and a short length of stainless steel #1 bowtye chain.

 

Chickens in Outdoor Tractor_Front

 

For all your backyard poultry and hog equipment needs, be sure to check out the FARMSTEAD Equipment line at www.hogslat.com/farmstead-equipment.

 

 

Clean Chicken Water Bucket and Dry Shavings 0

The FARMSTEAD chickens are doing great and growing quickly! Through weeks 2 and 3 they have started growing feathers and losing their fuzz. The easily adjustable legs on the Comfort Heating Plate for Chicks have been raised twice now to accommodate their growth and keep the heating plate at the optimum height for our birds. They are easily able to walk underneath the heating plate or lay on the edges to fine tune their comfort levels.

 

Chicks next to heating plate

 

In case you are trying to decide if the Clear Cover for the Comfort Heating Plate is worth purchasing, the answer is “absolutely.” Chickens have a natural urge to roost and desire to perch on an elevated surface. As your chicks become tall enough to see the top of the plate they cannot help but want to get up there. The slanted design of the heating plate cover prevents birds from perching on the plate and piling it with droppings. The small “streaks” from their tail ends sliding down the cover will be much easier to clean after the brooding process than an entire plate covered in poop!

 

Comfort Heating Plate for Chicks Cover
Our chicken drinking bucket with 3 nipples has been a huge hit and we know exactly why! When you compare the features and functions of our bucket to most other poultry drinking systems, you will quickly find that the drinking bucket keeps fresh, clean water available for your birds without requiring much work at all from you. In addition, when kept at the proper height for your birds, very little, if any, water makes it to the floor of your coop or brooder.

 

3 Nipple Bucket and Dry Litter

 

Other poultry watering systems can leak, get filthy or be knocked over very easily by your chickens or other poultry. The drinking bucket hangs out of the way and uses commercial grade poultry nipples to provide a consistent flow of water to your birds when they want it. This keeps your litter or shavings dry and helps your birds stay cleaner and healthier. As you can see in this photo, dry litter absorbs moisture and odors from the chicken droppings. Cleaner, drier litter also helps keep birds feet healthier and minimizes the occurrence of problems associated with wet litter.

“It just does what it is supposed to. That bucket is way better than what I was using before!” 

We received a photo from a happy customer who purchased the poultry drinking bucket with 3 nipples to put in his outdoor brooder. He is currently brooding a small group of mallard ducklings and a special wood duck duckling, which he rescued from the side of the road after seeing the rest of its flock get hit by a car while crossing a busy road. “If you’ve ever raised ducks before then you will agree they are much messier than chickens! The watering jars and founts I was using wouldn’t last more than a few minutes before the ducks had knocked them over or made a mess in them,” he said. “Ever since I installed the bucket I can fill it up and it will last 2 or 3 days. I don’t have to worry about whether my birds have water when I am gone during the day.”

 

If you’re currently brooding chicks, getting chickens soon, or just need a better, cleaner way to keep fresh water available for your birds, visit the FARMSTEAD Equipment section at http://www.hogslat.com/farmstead-equipment and purchase yours today!

 

CBP Outdoor Brooder Setup

FARMSTEAD Chicken Products in Action! 0

Broiler chicks using drinking bucket.We’ve got chickens!

This spring we added a few new items to our FARMSTEAD Equipment product selection that have been very popular with our customers who raise small groups of chickens and other poultry. We always strive to provide the highest quality products for our customers and decided we would purchase and raise a small flock of broiler chickens to show everyone first hand how well the equipment we sell works.

 

So, we headed to the local farm supply store and picked up a dozen broiler chicks. We lucked out and ended up with a baker’s dozen, 13 birds in all. Until the chickens have feathered out and can move outside, we’re brooding them indoors. Chicks need a supplemental source of heat until they begin to grow feathers. Generally, the birds need to be kept at around 90°-95°F for the first week of life.

 

Our “brooder” is made from a small children’s swimming pool, which can usually be purchased for around $10 from your local big box store. The inside is lined with clean pine shavings and we put the chicken feeder on the floor to start out so the birds are easily able to locate their feed.

 

Many people use a heat lamp and heat bulb to provide the supplemental heat their birds need during their first few weeks of life. Using a heat lamp and bulb works very well, but for this flock we are using one of the new products we offer, the Comfort Heating Plate for Chicks, which you can see in the left side of the photo above. The great part about the Comfort Heating Plate is that it only draws 22 watts compared to the much higher wattage, 100-250 watt, that a conventional heat lamp uses. In addition to the energy savings you’ll realize, the Comfort Heating Plate substantially decreases the chances of an accidental fire that can occur when using a heat lamp.

 

Chicks under Comfort Heating Plate for Chicks

In addition to the energy saving and safety benefits the Comfort Heating Plate provides, the chicks absolutely love it! 

That is because the heating plate is designed to mimic mother nature. When a hen hatches her chicks, she keeps them nestled under her for heat and protection. The chicks can gather under the mother hen for warmth and then from time to time come out for water, a bite to eat or just to stretch.

As you can see in this photo, the chicks took right to the heating plate like they would a mother hen and have no problem dozing off for a quick nap!

You probably noticed that some of the chicks are actually touching the plate’s surface. The chicks can fine tune their comfort level by contacting the surface, laying down, and moving from the middle to the edges.

The Comfort Heating Plate provides enough heat to keep the shavings underneath warm and inviting. When we set the brooder up before moving the chicks in, we tested the plate’s surface temperature as well as the temperature of the shavings beneath with an infrared thermometer.

 

Infrared Thermometer Temperature of Heating Plate

 

A perfect, consistent temperature for your birds, and peace of mind for you knowing that the Comfort Heating Plate for Chicks has dual safety features; a 0.5 Amp resistance fuse and 248°F temperature fuse.

If you’re planning on raising your own chickens this year, already have some chicks, or just want to take advantage of the Comfort Heating Plate’s safety features and energy savings, visit http://www.hogslat.com/comfort-heating-plate-for-chicks to purchase yours today!

Also, don’t forget to check back weekly as we’ll be documenting our experiences raising this flock as well as telling you more about the drinking bucket and hanging feeder you see in the pictures above!

 

 

Customers share about Farmstead Nesting Equipment 0

For a farm seeking a premium laying nest, Farmstead nests could be the perfect solution. The Farmstead nest provides hens with sufficient space to lay high-quality eggs, promote optimal hygiene, and above all are user-friendly and durable.

Farmstead nests are constructed of rugged galvanized steel that bolts together for strength, versus nests that are pop riveted. All edges are rolled to prevent injury to the birds, and divider partitions have ventilation holes to allow for air circulation around the hens to keep them cooler.

Farmstead Nest

“We recently built a barn for our chickens and had tried a few different nesting options. We had tried utilizing plastic bins and other nesting systems, but unfortunately none of these options were agreeing with our chickens. We decided to try the Farmstead nests and have been happy with this system. Our chickens adjusted well and are comfortable with this nesting option. We also have some ducks in our operation and they too have been utilizing the nesting boxes.” Pamela – Blanding, UT

“I like how stable the nests are because the chickens are not going to be able to knock it over.” Pamela – Blanding, UT

“I like that it bolts together easily and is made of galvanized material so that it won’t rust.” Casey – Paragould, AR

Suited to fit farms of all sizes, nests are available in 10-hole, 10-hole rollout, and a 4-hole nest. Assembled dimensions of the 10-hole are 34.5” high x 60” long, while assembled dimensions of the 4-hold are 34.5” high x 24” long.

“They provide a larger area for chickens, allowing them greater mobility.” Terry – Virginia, IL

photo2
In addition to animal comfort, it is important to note the nest’s user-friendly features. Designed for easy maintenance, nest bottoms are removable to make cleaning and litter replacement effortless. Nests feature hinged perches that flip up to aid egg gathering. The tops of the nests are designed with a steep slope to prevent roosting. In addition, nests can be elevated off of the ground and mounted onto a wall.

“I like the way the bottoms of the nests lift out, allowing the nests to be fairly easy to clean.” Lorena – Hillsboro, OR

“They are easy to clean. I use wood shavings for the bedding and clean out the nests once a week.” Pamela – Blanding, UT

“I like the fact that you can close the boxes at night so that they don’t allow the hens to roost in them.” John – Palermo, CA

 

photoFor anyone looking into the Farmstead nests, here is what some users have to say.

“I like everything about it. The nests were easy to assemble; we were able to assemble it within an hour.” Terry – Virginia, IL

“This product provides great value for the money.” Lorena – Hillsboro, OR

“I have found nothing wrong with this product and would purchase it again.” John – Palermo, CA

For more information on Farmstead nests, visit www.hogslat.com