The young Cemani chicks are out on pasture now and learning their new habitat. The custom designed Sun Chair 2000 has been serving as the young bird roost for several seasons now, and I must say, the design holds. The roost is not completely safe from a predator invasion, but live electric mesh helps to deter predator intent, and the constant moving of the sun chair prevents a build up of scent. When you have a permanent coop set up, your have to clean it often to prevent a build up of poop, which sends out a beacon of smell to any predators. When you have a portable coop that’s kept clean, the smell does not build up as an advertisement.
Having the birds on movable pasture spreading manure evenly and directly to the landscape, improves pasture diversity, health, and resiliency. It’s a great way to control growth, avoiding the need to mow, which means mechanical maintenance and fuel expense. You don’t have to have huge numbers of birds to do the work, even one bird moved daily in a smaller coop can turn good soil. The key action is rotation, and my use of the sun chair as an easy, light weight coop for young birds, has been a successful poultry system at Leafhopper Farm.
A special note on livestock diet-
What you feed your flock will also greatly effect the health of your pasture. This is why I strongly believe in feeding only USDA Organic grains to my livestock. They wander all over my property pooping out what I put into them. If I’m feeding chemically treated grain to the animals, those chemicals will come into the soil and into the meat and eggs of my stock. That’s a recipe for concentrated contamination. The rain run off from the land will contaminate local water features too. Please use organic feed to help stabilize our environment, it’s worth the extra money, because chemical contamination clean up is excruciatingly expensive and no quick fix.