Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Move a Chook Dome

It was time to move the chook dome today. Here's a step-by step guide:
  1. Check new site and remove anything you want to keep or eat yourself.
  2. Remove feed and water containers.
  3. Remove eggs.
  4. Remove laying box (ie, old mower-catcher). It's a good time to clean it well and dry it in the sun.
  5. Step inside dome.
  6. Take perch out of its loops and leave on ground.
  7. Grab two opposing ribs and lift the dome about 15cm off the ground. This is low enough to keep the chooks in but high enough to clear small obstacles. Make use of any handy children to shoo the chooks in the right direction.
  8. Move dome to the new location (ideally, right next to the previous one -- no need to exhaust yourself!). Lift the side if necessary to clear any large obstacles.
  9. Place dome on new site and step out.
  10. Check that there are no hollows where a chook might escape under the dome. Bricks are useful to cover any gaps.
  11. Replace feed and water containers, perch, nesting box.
Gosh, that was a tiring ten minutes, wasn't it?

Actually, my move took a bit longer than that, because I spent extra time at step 1. Here's the harvest from the new site right before moving the chooks in:

650g beetroot (one large, the rest small)
550g parsnips
handful dill
2 small heads celery
1 head silver beet

I was astonished by the number of snails I found, but the girls were pretty pleased. The rest of the bed is mainly warrigal greens and flowering chervil.

Last week's Good Living had a recipe (not online) that is actually useful right now: a salad of grilled goat's cheese-on-toast, roast beetroot, hazelnuts and broad beans. My garden has supplied me with the fresh young broad beans as well as the beetroot, so I made it for dinner. Rather fiddly for a weeknight, and not exactly frugal, but it tasted great.

1 comment:

Cadi's Mum said...

Hee, hee. That is so different from our moving experiences!! Ours involves taking the chookies out (they hate the tractor), hitching the chookhouse to the tractor, and driving it to a new spot - whereever we want fertilised and scratched over next. But then our chookies are completely free range now - only go home at night, and to lay their eggs. Down side to that - one went missing over the school holidays - we were away and had someone looking after them for us. He wasn't quick enough to put them away at night, and foxy loxy had a feast!!