This guest blog is by our Greenhouse Specialist, Sam Tepes. He’s a creative thinker and diligent and efficient worker, just the type of person you want running a greenhouse! This piece first appeared in the June 2017 edition of Ripples, our internal newsletter.
I have over forty chickens in my movable chicken coop, which I constructed out of recycled materials. I bought nothing to make the coop brand new; I found everything on the campus previously used. The nest boxes came from Earthworks chicken coop, the panels came from the goat farm, I had old chicken mesh and wire that I also re-used to make the movable coop.
I move it about once or twice a week. The chickens lay a lot of eggs. I give the Motherhouse kitchen about 17 ½ dozen eggs a week. In exchange, they give me their leftovers, and their kitchen prep scraps, which the chickens love.
When I move the coop, the chickens get fresh to eat grass, in addition to the grains I feed them. I also feed them oyster shells which provides calcium to their diet to strengthen their eggs’ shells. In addition to egg production and the salad greens, I also have peppers and tomatoes growing the greenhouse now, so refreshing salads will be served here all summer long.