Hatchery Happenings and Settling in

arrival of portable building Kildare May 2015

The portable building arrived recently for conversion to incubation and hatchery rooms. We were going to retro-fit the old shearing shed, but decided this was a better way to go. Like the terminology used in processing, we will have a “clean side” that will house the incubators and a “dirty side” for the hatching, with no air flow back into the incubation room. This better control of air flow, humidity and temperature should equate to better hatch results for everyone.

portable building May 2015

The building is only six years old and like brand new, a bargain buy for us, but sad for the company that went bust. If it had been any bigger we might have moved in, and put the chooks in our old farmhouse. We’ll show you more photos of its transformation soon, and all going to plan, we’ll be back supplying chicks.

Butler's Pantry Kildare May 2015

Speaking of the old farmhouse, apparently I have a “Butler’s Pantry” – but I still can’t find the butler.

Bold Kildare Fox

Here’s the bold fox that killed 5 of our chooks within metres of our house. He came right into our house yard one night and was not at all deterred by our ferocious watchdog “Billy”. He was however rather deterred by Michael’s shotgun – at 5 metres!

Dad's shutters

The shutter and winching system on the pedigree pent house. They can be closed for extra warmth in winter and lots of weather control in the summer. Me thinks my husband pretty clever!

Spare roosters June 2015

A vital part of this poultry breeding programme – our spare sires. They have a large range area and a shelter with two levels to assist social behaviour.

Milking Ruby at Kildare June 2015

Ruby has joined us at “Kildare”, and as we weaned her large male calf in the process, we took the opportunity to start milking. Michael and I grew up on fresh cow’s milk, but it’s not easy to commit to milking. I once use to think it was hard to justify, compared to the cost of buying milk, but it’s interesting how perspectives can change. As our family grows, we now have older children to teach the skill and as a team we can achieve a lot more. The quality of the milk certainly matches the effort.

Getting Firewood Kildare June 2015

This just isn’t our season for going away for a holiday, but taking a warm winter afternoon to get a load of firewood together feels like a little dash of one for us.



    • I have seen that post and was just wondering if you have any more pictures of your breeding pens. I am looking for ideas for my own breeding pens that I will be setting up.

  1. Righto David, I’ll see what I can find and e-mail you. The principles we use are based on the “Old Timers” deep litter breeding pens, still used by many backyard poultry fanciers’ today. We began with just a basic north facing open fronted shed, lean-to roof, with a number of internal divisions for our different breeding groups. As you can see from the pictures, we now have two depths of breeding pens with an alley way up the middle for egg collection. Our mild summers are perfect for the non-intensive management of our adult breeding birds.

  2. Hello Michael and Kathryn,

    The new operation certainly seems to be taking shape. Would love to visit one day. Looking forward to hearing about the possibility of our being part of your business network.

    Just had some good rains that filled all the dams!

    All the best, John and Kate _www.ardenfarmproduce.com_

  3. Hello John and Kate,
    Thanks for your encouragement. Yes, we are so keen to get going again and meet the demand of our farmers. We’re also humbled by people like yourselves who would like to join us.
    You’re very welcome to visit one day, even though we have tight bio-security protocols, we are always happy to show people what’s going on here.

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