South Field Sows, Chickens, Ducks & Piglets


Sows Waiting

This spot is a junction of many fields. Sometimes that fence is open to allow free passage or for herding of pigs from the lower to higher mountain fields. Today it is closed with the carabiners you can see clipped on in the photo.

The sows, ducks, piglets and chickens are all hoping I might have a treat for them on my afternoon walk…

Outdoors: 74°F/48°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: Picture showing a cutaway of the human brain, a little red circle over the frontal lobe with an arrow pointing into it with a sign saying, “You Are Here.”

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to South Field Sows, Chickens, Ducks & Piglets

  1. Neal Saunter says:

    If I may ask: how exactly do you move the chickens around as the pigs move? I know you’ve said previously that by not feeding them you force them to “work for themselves,” and so I’m sure they find their way into the new paddocks no problem. But do you move the coop/hoop houses around at all to follow the pigs/sheep? And what do you do in situations in which the chickens’ housing is a permanent structure like the shed?

    • The chickens simply follow the pigs, free-ranging. Since they’re interested in foraging where the pigs are because the pigs disturb things, kicking up insects, pooping out interesting things, attracting bugs it makes it interesting to be around the pigs. The hens forage up to 1,000′ from their roosts but that seems to be their limit for how far they want to walk in a day, most not more than about 750′. Permanent structures are for the winter and sometimes have been for the summer – my least favorite way to do things. Better is a wagon or other shelter that can move them out to new centers. See this

      • Neal Saunter says:

        That makes sense. How often do you find yourself moving that chicken hoop house around? If they range up to 750′ or 1000′ away it seems like you wouldn’t have to move it too often, but then do you get serious chicken manure build-up, or do you make a kind of deep mulch?

        • We do a deep much for when housing stays in one place for a while. Just add wood chips, sticks, hay, etc.

          • Neal Saunter says:

            Sorry for all the questions, I’m just trying to get a better mental picture. Does it stay in one place during the summer months as well as the winter? When you finally do remove the deep mulch and move the coop, do you seed the ground below with anything in particular (pasture mix or something?)

            thanks,
            Neal

          • It varies. Different years. Different structures. The south field shed which is used by some chickens, primarily in the winter, does not move. The hooped chicken house has been moved many times many years although at some times it has stayed in one place over the summer. In the winter everything is pretty well locked in the snow pack.

            When we do move it I often seed where it was but sometimes not. If there is a deep bedding pack I’ll just let that sit for a while. If I seed it is generally what ever I’m using for pasture mix which is a blend of soft grasses, legumes, brassicas, millets, amaranth, chicory and other forages. Or, I might turn it into a small garden and grow a patch of sunflowers right there. This will depend on the length of the growing season that is left and the location.

            So the answer is, it varies.

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