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chicken coops/runs/tractors/paddocks/pens/etc.

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Do you mind if I use these pics for my article?

sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
                                      


Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Posts: 11
  Go right ahead.
            you can credit me as Sam Kvale. 
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
I just love the coop on a trailer idea. if you want your chickys concentrated in one area for a while just move their house! now only for some easily portable fence...........hmmm invisible fence for chickens....hahahaha .  Iactually heard of someone trying that once and I think it killed the chicken.


[img]http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/havlik1/permie%20pics2/permiepotrait3pdd.jpg[/img]

"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Leah Sattler wrote:now only for some easily portable fence..


Do they make concertina wire without barbs/blades?  If not, I don't suppose it would be too hard to make...I hear WWI soldiers made it in the trenches.  I could imagine a cart that holds a coil of it, and tips over to form one end of the new fence.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
                                      


Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Posts: 11
  The fence in the picture is easily portable.  It's electric poultry netting which takes about 10 minutes to move and re set-up.  Works great so far.
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
Iwould love to try out the electric poutry netting but the initial cost as well as the fact that it needs to electrified poses problems. it would really restrict its placement to within a reasonable distance of a ground rod. I also am not just super happy with my solar fence charger.......its ok but doesn't really pack enough punch imo.

the consertina wire is a very interesting thought and might go somewhere. fits sorta along my idea of wanting fencing that is retractable into the posts. maybe I am just making it too complicated.....it should be collapsable instead.......hmmm that certainly deserves some more hashing out..
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
FWIW:  I made some big updates to my article and then I pumped a lot of new info into my presentation for the washington state permaculture convergence.  I'll try to merge that info back in soon. 

Sam,

I left before I got a chance to get the final okay to use your pics, so I haven't mashed it in yet.  Soon though!



                                      


Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Posts: 11
  Strange coincidence but I'll be on Salt Spring Island tomorrow.  Maybe I can come look at your chicken tractor.  I'm looking for wwoofing places in British Columbia.
  Bytesmiths: Do you use deep bedding in the coop and remove it?
                                      


Joined: Jul 20, 2009
Posts: 11
  I just kept throwing new sawdust into my coop.  When it got at all smelly it was time for a new layer.  In the end I pulled all of it out onto the garden.  It smelled woody and rather pleasant.  I think this helped keep a load of manure of the grass because there was 90 birds which added up quick.  The birds really like rolling around in sawdust.  Deep bedding that composts makes a lot of sense, but sure made the thing heavy to move.
      I'll be on the island for at least a couple of weeks.  No rush at all and I'll be sure to schedule ahead of time.
                          


Joined: Jan 24, 2010
Posts: 8
I'm delighted to have come across Paul's chicken page. I'm going to raise some chickens this spring and will definitely do the paddock thing or as close to it as I can come. I have raised canaries for years and I keep them in a big cage with deep sawdust litter (changed only twice a year) in my kitchen. There is no smell and they are ridiculously healthy. I  feed them a canary seed mixture and as much green leafy veg as they can eat which is at least a good sized romaine lettuce leaf a day. My oldest canary is nearly 12 and he is still chipper and still singing.

I wanted to say to Paul that one of my dogs is the spitting image of your Henry. She is at least half coyote and the rest is German Shepherd. She is a great hunter but very obedient and willing so I am hopeful I can convince her to protect the chickens. We have a lot of coyotes nearby (wolves, too) which means this could be a challenge. Any suggestions would be great.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Suggestions about your dog?
                          


Joined: Jan 24, 2010
Posts: 8
Oops. Confusing, sorry. Yes, I was looking for suggestions about training dogs to protect, not molest, the chickens. I've read quite a bit already and came up with an idea since the last post:

I'm thinking I will put the dead chickens into the freezer for a couple of days before feeding the dogs. This should make it clear to them that their is a difference between a live chicken (to be protected) and a dead, frozen one (to be eaten). I already feed my dogs raw meat and they prefer chicken frozen anyway. Freezing may also help to kill any pathogens in the meat. Not really relevant to my dogs who constantly hunt field mice and must have strong immune systems since they are never sick.

I hope it won't bother anyone that I am going to feed some of my chickens to the dogs. Of course there is ground up chicken (or some other animal) in dry dog food. I've seen videos of how the chickens are killed and believe me my way is a lot kinder.

Click here for a photo of my coy dog who I think looks a lot like Henry:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/44652461@N00/1451438266/in/set-72157611622989177/


Naga Nataka


Joined: Mar 25, 2010
Posts: 5
Thanks for the article, Paul. 

I've recently moved from Missoula myself, now living in Portland.  We've got a little 3-house urban co-housing community going on 2 lots, where we've taken down the fences and turned the yards into gardens.  We have 15 chickens in a pretty standard coop & run setup, which I'm not that happy with.  I've attached a couple pictures.  The chickens lay well, but we spend a lot on feed, and I think we could have healthier chickens and make better use of their manure.  We're in the process of redesigning the property, and I'd like to try doing paddocks with our chickens.  So, the questions are:

*  How big does a paddock really need to be for 15 chickens?  Our run is about 300 sq ft.  Is that big enough?  How long can they be in a paddock that size before moving?

*  You don't say much about what can be grown in a paddock with the chickens that will still be harvestable after they've had a chance to eat it.  What sort of crops are actually chicken-tolerant?

*  If we don't have room for 4 paddocks, have you tried just using 2 or 3?  If so, do you lengthen the rotation times?

Thanks so much!


[Thumbnail for IMG_6773.jpg]

[Thumbnail for IMG_6768.jpg]

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I've updated the article to have more links to more discussion about what to plant.

As for a paddock size ... well ... for 15 chickens in an urban area, I think you don't have enough space to pull it off.  But here is a solution for making the best of it.  Create three to five paddocks.  One paddock will be coop and run.  Use lots of straw to deal with the fact that the chickens will be in there most of the time.  Once a month, let the chickens do the rotation through the other paddocks.  But they might only be in there for two days or so.  Once the chickens have consumed 30% of the forage, move them to the next paddock.  You could try to plant things in paddock 1 that will sprout quickly that they will wipe out shortly after they return. 

So, to rephrase slightly, there will be one paddock that they will spend too much time in - maybe 70% of their time.  Like 20 days.  Then they will spend 10 days buzzing through the other paddocks.  So most of the paddocks will get enough rest but one paddock won't.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
paul wheaton wrote: You could try to plant things in paddock 1 that will sprout quickly that they will wipe out shortly after they return. 


Hm...maybe sunflowers that will be eaten as 10-day-old greens, and something bitter-tasting that has some chance of maturing a little more, like sesame or rye? My first thought in the vein of "what plants are biggest at 10 days" was fava beans, but there's probably no need to add more N to that patch of soil.
                      


Joined: Mar 31, 2010
Posts: 15
Paul ,

I just read your chicken 2.0 info section.  Great info and thanks for sharing.  I have a quick question.  I'm going to use a mobile chicken coop design that uses a large plastic dog house and it says it can hold 3 to 4 chickens.  How do you feel about the chickens staying in that in the winter using your paddock shift system?  I live in Boise and so we have some cold for a few months. 

Do they just stay in the doghouse for extended periods during the winter?

Thanks,
NewAtThis
Beth

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Stuff to plant that has only 10 days:

annual ryegrass
radishes

...  I wonder how alfalfa would do ....

Any other suggestions?


paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
NewAtThis wrote:
Paul ,

I just read your chicken 2.0 info section.  Great info and thanks for sharing.  I have a quick question.  I'm going to use a mobile chicken coop design that uses a large plastic dog house and it says it can hold 3 to 4 chickens.  How do you feel about the chickens staying in that in the winter using your paddock shift system?  I live in Boise and so we have some cold for a few months. 

Do they just stay in the doghouse for extended periods during the winter?

Thanks,
NewAtThis
Beth




I guess it depends on the doghouse. 

Are you gonna put a roost in the doghouse?

Does the doghouse have a bottom?

Emil Spoerri
pollinator

Joined: Oct 19, 2009
Posts: 415
    
    8
i just had a thought when reading the comments about feral chickens in hawaii

perhaps the best free range chicken already exists, it's just that it doesn't get quite as fat as we would like or lay as many eggs as we would like!
                      


Joined: Mar 31, 2010
Posts: 15
Paul,

Here's the link for the doghouse chicken coop if you want to check out the design. 

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/2007-04-01/Portable-Chicken-Mini-coop-Plan.aspx

You put a roost in it and nesting box.  I think you retain the plastic bottom, probably so critters can't dig into it.

Beth
Robyn Morton


Joined: Jun 09, 2010
Posts: 12
Location: Indiana
Hi there,

I am new to the chicken-care world, but I will soon be diving into it, and am hoping for some advice.  I work at an eco-justice ministry in Indiana, where we do organic farming, sustainable market gardening, orcharding, and alpaca raising.  We want to incorporate chickens into the alpaca/livestock area, and I will be writing up a proposal for using the paddock method.  I'm optimistic about this for our operation, because we already have the fencing & paddocks from the alpaca rotation, as well as electricity, water, etc.  We also have plenty of room.  We have four alpaca pastures that are each subdivided into smaller paddocks; I'll be writing a proposal to probably bring in 25-50 layers to one pasture for a year to see how it goes, before bringing in chickens into the whole operation. 

I've got a few questions, though, if anyone could help me out:

1.  Does the paddock system require a coop be available in each paddock (or moved from one to another)?  If not, what sorts of shelter structures are desirable?
2.  Where do the eggs get laid?
3.  How does this system work during winter?  Indiana winters can be quite harsh.

These probably won't be my last questions, but this will definitely get me started.  Thank you!

Robyn


It's not waste until it's wasted.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
1) I think a portable coop is a far better idea.  When you bring the coop into a new paddock, look for the patch of lousiest soil and park the coop there.  The chickens will add a lot of organic matter to that spot.

2)  The portable coop would have nesting boxes in it.

3)  At night, the chickens gather and roost in the coop.  The inside of the coop warms because of so many bodies in such a small space.

Jesse Coker


Joined: Jan 01, 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Rhode Island
So, I have gone ahead and made paddocks in the apple orchard, planted comfrey, nettles, jerusalem artichokes, and golden raspberries within. The paddocks are about 20 by 25 ft. or so, and there are 4 of them with 6 mature apple trees inside. We have 7 chickens in there and when we build a bigger coop, more. I am quite excited about this method, and thanks Paul and everyone else for all this great info!!

My question is, how can I be sure that these chickens are getting all the feed they need? Should I just let them roam until winter without feeding them at all? It seems like they should be fine, but I'd just like a little reassurance or feedback by the Permies community! Thanks! -J


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paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Put a feeder in there.  If the chickens have all the feed they need, they won't eat the stuff in the feeder - preferring the fresher stuff.
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
Hum.... I've heard to give them just enough feed to entice them to the area you want, and then again at night to entice them back to the house for training.  No feeder all day long.  I know with mine they will fill up on feed and then not be as hardworking to find food, it's only logical.  So I'd go easy on leaving a feeder in the paddock all day, unless there is no grass and no bugs.

I would watch and only supplement their eating with the things you don't think they will be getting on your soil.  Like kelp, O-shell, flax, sunflower or other oily seed.  You'll be surprised how well they do. 

Study your birds and land and I think you'll become an expert in no time on what they need and when.
Lisa Paulson


Joined: Apr 17, 2010
Posts: 254
Trampoline as chicken tractor, what an awesome idea for those of use with kids and a trampoline already!
I agree also that Irenes'  is the most beautiful henhouse I have ever seen.
  I am going to have a small flock of maybe 4 hens and 3 muscovy ducks and experiment with a small  2 - 4 chicken tractor for some areas and the bigger trampoline rotated as well as an electrified paddock system I am putting in place to rotate horses, I will jsut add electrified poultry netting as the flock increases.      Starting small and building up, also different things may work better in different seasons and for different purposes so who says there can't be a number of functional interchangeable systems in place on the same property.
Thank you all for contributing your experiences on this forum
                            


Joined: Jan 11, 2009
Posts: 11
Yo - Paul,

As a premier site for home poultry raising, I was wondering if you've ever tracked how man has done it for centuries and centuries in the past.  Seems that my wanderings down that path has yielded me some incredibly enlightening approaches to integrating chickens into the household lifestyle - fowl without things getting foul... Permaculture at it's best.

Undoubtedly you've been spelunking the depths of historical evidence of successful home scale poultry raising... any advice on where you'd send folks interested in approaches that have worked in the deeper, pre-american past?  It would be nice to have a section on your site that heralds what worked in the past.  It'd be great for incubating modern thoughts and solutions.  Nothing like working approaches from the past - and folks like you tweeking them appropriately...
Irene Kightley
pollinator

Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 340
Location: South West France
    
  15
Totally agree Mr Hobbit !

One of the things I like to see is chickens running free in the house and garden and the old folk here do just that - they fence the garden and let the chicks run free and they almost feed themselves and they seem to thrive doing what chickens do. I hate to see them confined in small runs although it's much better that caging them. The chooks also keep down the mice, rat and snake population and throwing them leftovers from the kitchen door is so convenient and fun - especially spaghetti !

I know people think my ways are a bit strange but I use our chickens to help me in the garden and only fence off or cover the veg they eat such as lettuce, the cabbage family etc. 



I protect the areas where they'll make dust baths if I don't want them to with sticks and I cover newly planted seedlings with grids or something similar to let the light in.



I have two or three cages - one made from an old tent frame and another from a hoop and the third which is just made from wooden posts with chicken wire round it. In there I grow all my self-seeders and very special plants which I daren't let the chickens get. 



You need to have a big garden to be able to get away with this but I've 60 or so chickens and the garden flourishes despite that crowd.

I've made a set in flickr to show people how the chickens and the garden can be managed together. Think about it as an option.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hardworkinghippy/sets/72157615288270606/


La Ferme de Sourrou : Nos projets avec PHOTOS
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
Thanks for posting your slide show Irene, it is wonderful!

What color . . . . everything looks so inviting.
ryan112ryan McCoy


Joined: Aug 23, 2010
Posts: 45
I did have a question.  in the article Paul suggests the padlocks with a mobile coop. I am trying to figure out is what is the optimal design for the mobile coop.  Paul's metric of "poop cleaning factor" is one thing that that is hard to get around with coops.  I should say I am not afraid of work, but work for works sake is stupid, a little planing can save time in the long run.

It should be easy to clean, have things to prevent the need to clean and streamline any work that does need to be done.  I was thinking it should be mobile, an all plastic housing (wheel it out and power wash), with a mesh bottom might make the work easier.

Can you have a mesh bottom?  How small/big can the holes be? Do you have to have a bottom?  I have heard you need to keep it off the ground a bit to keep away moisture to prevent disease.   I live in NC will this be too cold for their feet during the winter (usually coldest it gets is 30 degrees F)?

What other ideas can I add to this idea to eliminate work?

Allan. Sterbinsky


Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Tennessee
OK, my first batch of broilers is done for the year, so I thought I would share my experiences from this summer with y'all. 

I used Joel Salatin type mobile coops (as I have for many years).  This summer was extremely hot in TN (hottest in the past 50 years) and I started losing chickens to the heat.  I cut out more openings all around the pen, but that wasn't enough.  I had to move the pens totally into the shade to keep them from overheating.  In fact, I moved a portable fan out to one pen because it didn't have enough shade.  That helped with the heat.  Unfortunately, that also meant I couldn't move the pens throughout the pasture any more due to the restrictions for shade and proximity to electricity.  That meant I spent weeks pulling grass and giving it to the chickens.  White Cornish Cross chickens are the laziest!!!  They would barely eat the grass, even the young clover (when I could find it in the pasture).  This past weekend, when I harvested the chickens, their skin were very white, similar to what you buy in the store (yes, I was using organic feed).  In previous years, the chickens had a yellowish cast due to eating fresh grass every day and all the "goodies" they found in the soil.  The taste of the chicken is fairly similar to those of previous  years, so I'm not sure there is a big difference in taste between using Joel Salatin's movable coops or Andy Lee's Deep Mulch system. 


This winter I will redesign the pens with hoops for a roof.  That will give the heat space to move up and out of the coop.  Any suggestions for dealing with high heat in a movable coop would be greatly appreciated!
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
A tarp as shade, strung up above the pen, as you say for shade and so the heat can move out and any breeze pass between tarp and pen.  Maybe you could buy or rig something like those aluminum car tent/canopies to drag along with your tractor.... Like the one at the bottom of this post -

You didn't say but I'm sure you have chicken wire on at least two sides for cross ventilation.

Do you have a mobile water system?  If so hook up a couple of misters (think swamp cooler).



[Thumbnail for cover.jpg]

Allan. Sterbinsky


Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Tennessee
Thanks Jamie,

Now I'll have to think about fitting five or six movable coops shaded with those portable tents.  I wonder if I could hook a small one to each coop.  Hmmm....

I do have movable water, but it consists of one or two five gallon buckets per coop.  I'll have to do some research on the swamp cooler notion. 

Thanks for the ideas!

Allan
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15219
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
ryan112ryan wrote:
I am trying to figure out is what is the optimal design for the mobile coop. 


Just enough shelter for 25 birds to roost and two laying boxes.  Maybe four laying boxes.  Plus the ability to keep a feeder dry inside.

No bottom.

I helped somebody build something for eight hens about a year ago - i wrote and asked her how it was working out and received no response.

                            


Joined: Nov 07, 2010
Posts: 3
Love the paddock idea, here is a slight variation of it, and I realize not everyone can do it.
My garden is 88' x 96'. Dead center in it is my garden shed/chicken coop. The perimeter is completely fenced 4' high.
I have 2 50' rolls of 2x4 farm fence that I stretch from the coop to the perimeter and rotate every 3 to 5 weeks depending on the crop.
Here's how I work it. After the second harvest, I will stretch the fences and make a paddock. The chickens will eat the late vegtables, bugs, and foilage. All while fertilizing and helping to break down the plant growth. Remember 50% green (foliage) + 50% brown (manure) = BEST COMPOST.
After the paddock is almost completely cleared I just move the fences to a freshly harvested area. Did I mention I live in Florida where we have a longer growing period?
I do have a 2' wide section of fencing buried at the perimeter of the coop to keep out predators, and I do have to shut the coop door at night. It works for me, hope it'll help you too.
marty reed


Joined: Dec 09, 2010
Posts: 120
to Jami McBride

this is a great idea. i have made many structors out of trampoline frams just take half of it and stand it on one end get some longer poles and their you go. i have made a work shop and a green house this way and it was the right price.

i try to reuse everything i can or to repurpose things

the cheap guy
Roger Merry


Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Posts: 109
Best free range Chicken EVER = breed of your choice x red jungle fowl . then pick the best for your needs (meat/eggs/both) The wild species genes really kick in even when back crossed for 2 or 3 generations. Only down side is they fly better !!

Best Broody is silkie x jungle fowl sits like a rock but has the brains to deal with rearing properly - downside they look like hell !! 

True wild species jungle fowl arent as hardy as some breeds (think Maran hardiness) but that can be sorted out with the hybridizing. Also hard to get pure bred species jungle fowl. try zoos or specialist pheasant keepers - you only need a cockeral so they're generally pleased to get rid of surplus.

As to the chickens on Hawaii Good Grief like the wildlife there hasn't suffered enough from introduced species 
                        


Joined: Feb 01, 2011
Posts: 5
Location: NorthCarolina foothills
I got to read this article on Raising Chickens and saw that you got some not to nice reply which really made me want to read the article, seeing as everything I have seen on youtube from Paul Wheaton has been great.
I read through it, and I have so say after raising a considerable amount of bird over several years, not only do I agree on your ideas of raising them, but did my best to practice them without knowing it.
We at one time had 45-50 standard bronze turkeys, 55-60 buff orpington chickens, and about 35-40 muscovey ducks, which we still have.
And right now I do the practice of letting them out in the morning and putting them up and night because of....you guessed it 'yotes as the locals here in NC call them.
I think it only right to let them roam during the day, BUT ( I know big but) there is always someone here at the house since we Home school.
I would love to do the divided pens, but the money for them seems to be out of reach most of the time. Now here in NC, I did have to keep turkeys in some what of a pen as I cannot let them run free due to laws, but then again we would turn them loose for hours while we were outside to watch them.
I did have a couple of dog that did their job, but they grew old and I have not replaced them as of yet, so was glad to see that mentioned as even what a good breed is for that purpose.
I have also stood watch with my firearms and have had to scare the daylights out of stray dogs that people let roam, as my bird never left my property even when the flock was that big, can't explain it either, they just didn't.

Honestly the only reason I could see someone getting mad was if they didn't really want to care for their birds in a manner so as to promote the ANIMALS health, thereby promoting ours though their harvest.
Yes, they are work. Don't buy them if you don't want the work. But there just isn't anything close you can buy in the store come thanksgiving than a pastured Turkey. My friends keep asking if I am going to raise them again, and we are looking into it. I know this is long for my first post to your forum, but I really respect what you have been doing and was a little upset that some would say what they said. I guess I took it personal after finding out I had been doing it a lot like you were suggesting.
Bull norris


Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 50
Location: Chanute Kansas
the trampoline idea drove me mad this fall.
if you had 2 tops 1 face down then the legs then the top screwed together.
i could stand it on its side to fit the wire and roll as needed.
then wheels, and a handle, how about laying box?
i see them everwhere ,how about 2 story ?
little green houses ? mad mad i say.
Kahty Chen


Joined: May 07, 2010
Posts: 26
Location: Southern Oregon
mrhobbit wrote:
any advice on where you'd send folks interested in approaches that have worked in the deeper, pre-american past? 


Here's a link to an excellent look at the history of domestic chicken housing in a number of cultures: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=428013

An excerpt, "Firstly, it should be acknowledged that in ancient times, two different breed classes of chickens were treated almost as different species. The meat chickens came from China via Russia and Eastern Europe and didn't arrive in Western Europe or the Mediterranean until fairly late in history.
The races of egg producers arrived in the Mediterranean from India via the Levant and Egypt.
They did not arrive in Russia or Western Europe until about the same period in agricultural history.

Heavy-bodied, cold weather adapted Eastern races were not particularly well-suited for the lifestyle and physical environment-nutrition- the ecology that Light-bodied warm climate adapted chickens thrived in or visa vis.
The cool blooded races could almost be considered urban so intensive was their husbandry- please recall the Chinese method of hands on selective breeding and nurturing in environments mostly devoid of foraging space- the birds obliged to glean for spilled grains of rice, of barley and millet- the latter two being relatively low energy cereals. They were fed special foods but were not trusted in the confines of a garden - that was left for ducks whose feet do not damage and whose manure does not burn crops.

The warm-blooded races were more or less wild- one race (Fayoumi) considerably more so than the other (Lakenvelder). They were obliged to find most of their own food, fly larvae in the manure of feral livestock and insects in the fields. They encouraged to forage in gardens for pests and-during thrashing season, they gleaned for grains. Their diets were high in energy and the birds were obliged to wander over a wide area to procure the full benefits of their environment.

The cool blooded races were always reared and selected for utility- their meat and eggs were of vital importance.
The warm blooded races were originally kept as ceremonial creatures. They were of vital importance for sacrificial rites and good fortune. Their eggs were of growing significance and eventually the birds were maintained almost solely for their eggs.

Housing for cool blooded races was within the same structures used to shelter hoofstock from the cold or were kept within the dwellings of humans themselves.

Housing for warm blooded races was non-existent, save for their adoption of certain human made structures, which gave the birds shelter, primarily from heat.

Predators of both racial groups were largely the same, though the warm blooded races had many more threats than the cool blooded.

The roots of egg farming in the Mediterranean are one of the cornerstones in the foundation of European chicken husbandry. The Mediterranean class of chickens were, until very recently in history, the world's primary egg producers.

Composites of these two racial groups are the foundation of all dual purpose commercial breeds."
 
 
subject: chicken coops/runs/tractors/paddocks/pens/etc.
 
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