If you know me or follow my Instagram, you know I LOVE eggs! They are so versatile, have a long shelf life, and are nutrient dense which adds so much value to a healthy life and is important in what I stand for being a Chef and Dietitian.
With this quest to promote nutritious food and a healthier lifestyle, my partner Tanner and I acquired 40 acres in 2021 in Columbia, MO. I guess you can now add farming to my foodie resume because he and I are diving into Regenerative Agriculture practices! It’s some of the hardest work I’ve ever done but it is so rewarding and I love bringing people out to the farm and teaching them where our food comes from, how to support local, and ways to be sustainable.
The farm started out with cattle, which were a little too big for me to manage soo “Farmer Tan” got me 5 beautiful, 2 year old laying hens for my birthday and I was smitten.
So of course, I volunteered us to take 5 more 6 week chicks someone had bought around Easter and could no longer keep (a common problem around this time it feels – chicks are not toys!). These 4 peppy girls and handsome rooster had only seen the vast horizon of a bathroom before we picked them up. We knew we had to build a coop pronto, so we picked up a cattle panel, some plywood sheets, and Manna Pro’s Harris Farms Automated Coop Door I had seen on City Yolks Instagram account.
I thought this would be a great addition because even though we wanted to keep the chickens close to the house, the threat of predators is extremely strong around our parts. Opossums, coyotes, and raccoons all would love to meet our flock but I’m not willing to risk that.
Also, we wanted to get the younger chicks accustomed to free ranging. We knew we could set the timer to train them with the automatic door when we were home and gradually increase the time frame of free ranging.
The Harris Farms Automated Coop Door was super easy to put together, the only part that took time was deciding where to cut the hole and cutting it (max 5 minutes). A few screws later and the door was ready to open a whole new world to the chickeys! At first, they pecked at the door, poking their heads out; then their bodies slowly followed.
It was so nice to see them exploring their new area and breeze back in the doorway to seek shelter if they felt scared. We are slowly extending the time of free ranging with the automatic door but are really loving its flexibility as well as its flush finish to keep predators out and cordless, weatherproof battery-operated mode.
In time, we will introduce the flocks to each other, and both will have access to the automatic door and the benefits! This automatic door is great for small and large scale chicken keeping.
Our ultimate plan is to redo an old doghouse, put it on a trailer and have an egg mobile that follows the cow’s daily move from one grass paddock to another. By having chickens following the cows, or other ruminant animals, they will be able to feast on the critters who have made a home in the manure, cut down on fly populations, and produce healthier chickens and eggs.
We will definitely incorporate the Harris Farms Automated Coop Door to all of our egg mobiles in the future because the chickens will be farther out of our site and I won’t have to hike to let them out in the morning or shut them in at night.
Cheers to Manna Pro’s Harris Farms Automated Coop Door for making my farming life easier and cheers to many more chickens down the road!! Stay tuned for more farming adventures!
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