Next salvage project

We use electronet to protect our day ranging chickens from the almost-daily visits from coyotes. Great product, but a bit of a hassle to move by yourself.

Just watched the WA state series of farm hack videos and saw this idea of using  salvage lawnmower as a spool for the fence as well as a holder for the fence’s solar suitcase. Going to find a freecycle lawnmower now…brilliant idea!

Protecting chickens from weasels

We lost a bird this past winter to a weasel when the solar electronet was struggling with zero sun for a week. The primary lesson I learned was to rotate a backup battery weekly in the winter, with the second one recharging in the garage on a battery tender.

But I also learned the value of traps. What you see pictured here are a humane, no-kill raccoon trap and a smaller weasel trap.

Frankly, I did not know we even had weasels in our area until I compared all the signs from the kill to internet research. Weasels are very productive members of a forest ecosystem, so I don’t want to proactively hunt them. But placing these humane traps between the forest and our chickens serves as an inexpensive barrier to keep both of us happy.

The bait recommended to me by a local trapper is cheap cat food + marshmallows. Yes, marshmallows. Raccoons in particular can’t resist them.  🙂

Raccoons and Electronet

Surprisingly, the local raccoons found a time when the solar charger was mistakenly left off and the chewed a hole right through the fence. Thankfully this stuff is easily repairable with bonded putty you can get at your local hardware store. The electricity just flows around it.

Day-Ranging chicken coop :: version 2.0

Just as our chicken tractors went through a few improvement versions, our day-ranging coops are as well. Introducing the new and improved version 2.0 of the Day Ranger.

Still protected by the electronet fencing, this one abandoned the use of political signs as walls and roof for the use of salvage lumber. The political sign coop works well, but it needs to be a backyard that does not have high winds.

In addition to going with heavier lumber to resist the wind, the version 2.0 Day Ranger features six nest boxes and 20′ of roost space, in anticipation of starting a newer, larger flock this winter.

A few more photos to see the additional details: