Monday, July 16, 2007

The Chicken Ark, Too

Apropos of nothing at all, meet our chickens. The white one in the background lays...white eggs. The other three are your perfectly normal, garden-variety brown-egg chickens. When it gets very cold in winter, the white chicken's eggs get small. Robin's-egg small. When it gets very warm and she's feeling ebullient, she lays goose eggs. Double-yolkers.
So I think that this white chicken is the poet of the flock. Temperamental, sensitive, and with a weakness for drink. I'd call her...Edgar Allen Poe, but...

The Chicken Ark is a palace, complete with ramp leading to a double-chambered penthouse in the top. One chamber is for laying eggs, and the chickens have done a nice job of honoring its purpose. The other is for laying around and drinking, telling ribald tales, and gossiping. The bottom, as you can see, is bottomless. It is wheeled at one end. I move this thing around our small orchard, garden, and the back yard, and the chickens are never without fresh grass and bugs. The Ark is my creation, although it is of English origin in design.

Four eggs a day, and you'd think we could eat them all! But the relentless pressure of it all, and we often end up donating a dozen to special friends who appreciate organic, range-fed, old-fashioned eggs.


Erica J said...


Do you have some sort of wire underneath or any protection against marauding animal diggers? Or isn't it necessary?


Bruce Gee said...

Hasn't been necessary. The idea, of course, of an open bottom is that the chickens dig and scratch, fertilize the ground, and eat weed seeds. I just drag it around the yard all Summer, and move it two or three times in the Winter.

Our previous chicken tractor had lighter weight side mesh, and a bobcat did rip it open from the side and drag off, kicking and screaming, a pathetic laying hen. Feathers in a trail, all the way to the woods. There is nothing like fresh bird.

Are you thinking of raising a few laying hens?
There are a lot of designs out there for tractors, but this ark design is far and away the best. The chi-chi's love it.