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.
Fun article and great to hear you used recycled materials for the moveable pen. Wonderful to have fresh eggs available too for the kitchen’s use. Thanks for all your work!