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.

 

 

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!

 

 

Ultimate Chicken Bucket Drinker 0

 

 

0004354_chicken-drinking-bucket-with-3-nipples

 

 

Building a poultry drinker by inserting poultry watering nipples into the bottom of a common five-gallon plastic bucket is very popular for backyard flocks. Bucket waterers are inexpensive, sanitary and relatively trouble-free.

We would like to introduce you to an improvement on this simple concept, a product we like to think of as the Ultimate Bucket Drinker.

 

 

Bucket waterer with hen

 

 

The Ultimate Bucket Drinker is uniquely designed with three recessed sections with preformed nipple fittings molded into the bottom of the bucket, allowing for easy handling and an effective method for watering backyard flocks.

One key feature of the Ultimate Bucket Drinker is the three recessed sections. These allow for the bucket to be placed stably on the ground when filling with water, a feature that is not possible with the standard drinker with nipples screwed into the bottom of the bucket.

 

0004356_chicken-drinking-bucket-with-3-nipples_326A second benefit of the Ultimate Bucket Drinker is raised watering nipples. This raised design prevents any dirt or debris that is in the water to plug the watering nipples. Instead, any dirt or debris in the water will settle to the bottom corners of the bucket.

The nipples themselves are commercial grade; trigger activated with extra top filter.

 

The Ultimate Bucket Drinker includes an easy on/off lid, hanging/carrying handle and adjustable 0004355_chicken-drinking-bucket-with-3-nippleshanging cord, allowing you to regulate the ideal drinking height as your chickens grow.

The Ultimate Bucket Drinker goes together fast…no drilling or gluing necessary and costs less than other pre-packaged kits on the market.

 

To order go to http://hogslat.com/adjustable-chicken-drinking-bucket-with-3-nipples.

Pest Proof Chicken Feeder 0

Feed-O-Matic with hen

Our newest product offering for backyard flocks helps reduce feed loss from pests like mice, rats and wild birds. Known as a treadle feeder, the Feed-O-Matic incorporates a step activated gate to control access to the feed trough.

The treadle requires two pounds of weight to open the slide gate. As a chicken steps on the treadle to eat, it is depressed, and the gate opens. When the chicken finishes and steps off, the treadle rises shutting the gate to limit access to lighter weight pests.

 

 

 

 

The trough featuFeed-O-matic closeupres several refinements to limit feed loss as the chickens are eating. Solid plastic dividers prevent feed from piling up in the corners and falling out. A feed-saving plastic lip on the trough keeps birds from “raking” feed out of the trough as they eat.

 

 

 

 

ConstruFeed-O-Matic lid opencted of 20 ga. galvanized steel, the Feed-O-Matic holds 26.5 pounds of feed. A plastic lid keeps the feed hopper clean with a snap latch to secure it.

 

To order go to http://hogslat.com/feed-o-matic-chicken-feeder