MOBILE SHELTERS 109
classic Polyace design—a contemporary example isshown in fgure 11.2. I Joel Salatin’s mobile pens canproduce tens o thousands o market broilers a yearto put money in the bank, surely all o us creativeamateurs can come up with shelters that allow ourbirds continual access to resh grass while protecting them rom opportunists on the prowl.
Designing a Pasture Shelter
Below are some issues to ponder as you plan yourmobile shelter project. It could help with yourplanning to have a look as well at appendix C ordesign and materials considerations and step-by-stepconstruction o my most recent all-purpose pastureshelter.
Pasture Pens and Pasture Shelters
Micro-ocks on lawn or pasture are oten confnedentirely to the shelter, which is moved requently tonew grass. The larger the ock size, however, thelarger the protected oraging space you will want toprovide the birds. As discussed in the previous chap-ter, I use electric net encing or giving my birds anextensive area to roam outside the shelter. I you donot use electronet, however, you might provide a
using a set o light wooden rame panels with chicken wire, easily locked together using bolts with wing nuts, and just as easily disassembled ormoving. Whether you need to attach a rame overthe top o the pen will depend on aerial predation where you are.Cody, a riend o mine, came up with an inge-nious pasture shelter-and-pen set or her ock o hal a dozen layers, shown in fgure 11.4: She mounteda small shelter (2½ by 3½ eet) on a landscaper’s wagon, complete with roosts, nests, and a ramp shelowers—using a nylon strap attached to the ramp thatruns right through the shelter—to release the ock inthe morning. She made a separate 8-by-8-oot pen, 4eet high and with a cover o wire over the top, andmounted on small wheels or moving. Framed intoone side is a narrow opening into which the door o the shelter docks. In the morning Cody moves thepen onto resh grass; wheels the shelter into dock-ing position; then lowers the shelter’s ramp to releasethe hens into the pen. At dusk they retreat into theshelter on their own, and Cody pulls the ramp intoplace with its remote-control strap, to guard againstunwanted night visitors.
Trade-Offs: Size, Weight, and Stability
The size o the shelter will be determined by the sizeo the ock it will shelter and its intended use. At thelow end o the scale, a shelter could be designed as a
Fig. 11.3 As you can see, it is possible to build the same-sized penwith much lighter raming, making good use o diagonal bracing.Fig. 11.2 A movable pasture shelter based on the classic Polyace-style broiler pen. Note the 2-by-4 construction—this was a frst projector its builders and is overstructured.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMUEL MATICH