This post follows on from Chick Recap: Take 4.
When the chicks in the Chicken Tractor were almost fully grown and it was getting a bit squashy in there, Kel felt it was time to move them all over to live with the pigs – the last stage in our rearing system. Originally we were only going to move the hens over and cull the roosters however due to our poor feeding regime for the first batch of chicks (see previous post) the roosters needed a bit more time to grow.
If you read back to our post, The Pig And Poultry Plan, you can read and look at the plan we had for the chickens to live in harmony with the pigs. In a nutshell they would live together in an electrified paddock, the chickens scratching up the pigs’ manure and eating any bugs and the pigs providing protection for the chickens against predators.
So Kel moved the chicken caravan AKA Château de Chicken across from his parents to our agistment property (where the pigs were) and then instead of setting up the next paddock for the pigs as he had been doing, he set it up according to the diagram he designed for when the chickens and pigs would be living together (again see The Pig And Poultry Plan). He then moved all of the hens and roosters across from his parents property into the newly set up paddock.
It all went off brilliantly and although the pigs were curious about the new structure and its inhabitants in their paddock, they were friendly and sociable with the chickens. The chickens were a bit scared at first however soon got used to the pigs and even started eating out of their troughs even though they had their own food in the safety of their caravan! The only hitch was that because some of the chickens had bad legs again due to our poor feeding regime, they found it hard to walk up and down the ramp into the caravan. At night when Kel would go to lock them up, he would often find a bunch of them roosting or nesting under the caravan (even the ones without bad legs!).
Obviously you’re wondering what happened next as we ended up saying goodbye to the pigs earlier this year (see post)…keep reading the recaps and you will find out! (We’re slowly getting there! One day we will be up to date!)