This week we welcomed a flock of 40 hens to Lochaber farm. This had been part of our plan for a couple of months now, but since the lockdown, the popularity of hen keeping seems to have increased so much that we had been finding difficult to get our hands on any point of lay hens.
The girls are settling in well and are enjoying the freedom of the empty cow shed, where they spend their days scratching through the cow manure and nestling into the straw and enjoying the sun.
The hens will now be reared as free range hens, and fed organically. We have eggs available for collection from the farm or alongside home deliveries of bread – £2/half dozen. Either email to reserve yours or turn up and they will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Alongside this, we have been rearing our own chicks which hatched on Easter Monday. The chicks first inhabited the chicken brooder, inside our shed, but for the last week or so, they have been living in their chicken tractor.
The idea of the chicken tractor is that it is moveable and has a mesh floor – this allows the chicken waste to drop onto the grass below and fertilise it. Once an area is well fertilised, we can easily move the tractor and fertilise a new area.
In due course, we will have the chickens occupying the area of pasture that the cattle have most recently occupied, where they will be able to dig through the cow manure, fertilise the grass, and then add their own waste to the fertilising process.