Thursday, 14 March 2013

Thinking like a weasel...a high security brooder house

During the last forty years I have had ducklings, ducks, chicks and hens killed by: weasel, mink, pine marten and fox. Each time it was some security lapse on my part that was to blame.  Now I design poultry houses that look a bit like Securicor vans without the wheels. The first batch of chicks in 2013 has just hatched and they are moving into the new high security brooder house which I designed by trying to, "think like a weasel, a mink and a pine marten."
High security brooder house: Still some tidying up to do

Weasels can go anywhere that a mouse can go and a mouse can get through a gap the thickness of a pencil so even the smallest gaps have been filled. Pine martens are great climbers so the walls are made of plywood with no purchase for claws.The bigger holes under the box section roof have been filled with polyurethane foam and welded mesh. Throughout the materials are tough enough to withstand a pine marten's claws. I have had a mink open an electronic door so the pop hole is solid wood and difficult for me to open.

Dull emitter lamp ( in daylight
For the first time I have installed a, "dull emitter lamp" these don't give any light so that the chicks have normal day and night, well almost normal, a fourteen hour day is best so there's a light inside to extend daylight.

Forty two eggs were set 21 days ago and we now have 27 chicks with three more eggs "pipped". Just over 70% of the eggs set have produced a chick which is pretty good, sometimes you get more sometimes fewer......don't count your chickens.......

1 comment:

Jon Haylett said...

Thoroughly enjoying your posts, Tom.