Chore Time! — Pullets
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Life on the farm is full of variety! This summer, as an intern, I learned quickly that each new day is an adventure. Being the spontaneous type myself, this was something that brought a smile to my face. However, there are some things that are pretty routine around here… chores probably being the most prominent. Here, at Polyface, we do chores twice a day. First, we do them right away in the morning with the sunrise, and, second, around four o’clock in the afternoon. If you would, join me the next four weeks to follow me in some of my daily endeavors here on the farm!

Introducing… hoop houses 3 and 4! These are the two hoop houses that I “take care of” in the morning. To start, we’ll take a look inside hoop 3 and meet the pullets! What is a pullet you might ask? Simply put, pullet is a young  hen. Here in hoop 3, we have approximately 1,000 Rhode Island Red pullets.

Hoop Houses 3 (left) and 4 (right).

The view inside the front door of hoop 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the morning, I start with making sure the water is up and running in hoop house. When it freezes at night, this can take a little bit more time. Then, I move on to feeding. To start, I pull out four buckets of feed from the feed bin (shown below), and make my way inside. These pullets mainly eat from trough feeders which need to be filled each day.  I end up giving them at least six buckets a day. The hens are always very happy to get a fresh breakfast! After feeding and making sure that the chickens have water, I take a lap around the hoop house just to check on everything and make sure everyone is doing well. 

Inside the feed bin.

Water!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Munch, munch, munch

Everyone is very happy to get fed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been really fun watching the pullets develop from chicks to the nice young ladies that they are today! In fact, about two weeks ago, I was overjoyed when I glanced down at my feet only to see a small egg lying on the ground. It was the first egg from the entire batch of pullets! Since then, we’ve started opening nest boxes so that the little ones can start learning how to lay. Now, we’re getting over a dozen eggs from hoop 3…. this number only to rise exponentially throughout the next couple months!

The first egg of the year!!

Open nest boxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned next week to find out what’s in the rest of hoop 3!

Until then…

A little hen doing her job :)

Eggs ready to be collected!

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About Miriam Gust

Miriam grew up among the lakes of beautiful central Minnesota and is the youngest of four. She is devoted to serving her King Jesus, and she finds great joy in spending time outside (especially while farming and hunting!) and in simply sharing a cup of coffee with friends or family. She looks forward to continuing to learn and grow at Polyface and is eager to trust the Lord with whatever the future may hold.
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16 Responses to Chore Time! — Pullets

  1. Mark Wertin says:

    Thanks for the post! When were the pullets hatched and where did you get them from?

    • Miriam Gust says:

      Thank you for your question, Mark! We received this set of pullets from Ridgway Hatcheries in Ohio on September 12th… so they hatched a day or two before then.

  2. Larry Bailey says:

    Hi Miriam:

    How does Polyface handle loading/filling the outside feed bin? About how large is the feed bin and about how often does it get refilled during the winter months?

    Thanks

    Larry

    • Miriam Gust says:

      Great questions, Larry, thank you! We fill the feed bin outside a with Grain-O-Vator feed buggy. The bin holds about two tons of feed and it gets refilled approximately every week and a half.

  3. Olivia Persinger says:

    I will be getting some laying hens soon. I can’t wait!
    I have to admit I am a chicken lover! 😉

  4. Staci Wallingford says:

    Those first eggs are very exciting aren’t they?! Thanks for the tour and keep up the good work! God bless.

  5. Annabelle says:

    Love the post and seeing pics from your daily routine, Mim. 🙂 (Munch, munch, munch and “nice young ladies” – hehe.)

  6. Kristin says:

    Cool! The first egg is exciting! We have chickens, too, and love those fresh, orange-yolk eggs!

  7. cpatton1485 says:

    I was under the impression the hens at Polyface were free range using chicken tractors? I must have missed some posts about the hoop houses? You don’t mention having to clean up after the pullets above, is that an issue with 1000 birds per house?
    Thanks!

    • Miriam Gust says:

      You’re right, during the summertime our hens are in eggmobiles that follow a herd of cattle. However, during the winter months, they’re in hoop houses for protection and warmth and to build up compost bedding. This is important as it lays the foundation for the produce that will then be grown in the hoop houses during the summer. So, it ends up being a whole cycle! The hens also still receive lots of scraps and protein to forage and pick at throughout their time in the hoop houses.

  8. The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you have enough space for your chicken coop . If you don’t, this may be the time to re-arrange your yard to give you the space needed. A coop must have at least two square feet for every chicken you will have in it. It is important to make sure that the coop you purchase will keep the chickens dry, safe from their natural predators, and free from drafts. While you could always make chicken houses yourself, it is much easier and safer to go with one made by experience people or companies.

  9. Carl Resh says:

    Miriam, do you have any issues with predators getting into the hoop houses? I’m sure raccoons and other ‘enemies’ would easily chew through the plastic; however, I did notice the treated wood along the base of the hoop house. I suppose that is enough of a deterrent or are there other precautions you take? Like a good dog maybe?

    • Miriam Gust says:

      Hi Carl–

      Good question! We don’t have issues with predators getting into the hoop houses. We have some rats, but other than that, nothing! The issues with predators only start in the summertime with chickens out on pasture.

  10. Scott McCabe says:

    Read your article- Thanks Miriam