It's from Westphalia Trading Company in Westphalia, MO (about 2 hours or so away). He made it especially for me. Since I'm going to have just three banty hens, he made it smaller than usual. He was able to put wheels on it and the yellow rope is to pull it around the yard. Usually the ones he makes are larger and don't have wheels as people move them around with ATV's or tractors. I don't have either and have some sloping in my yard so I needed something I could move on my own.
This is what my hens will look like, basically. I'm getting them from a friend who has been raising and showing chickens for years.
The chicken on the left is a regular sized chicken and the one on the right is a bantam breed.
Bantam hens are smaller than the usual hen people know so they lay much smaller eggs. I like this as I shouldn't have as much trouble using up the eggs on my own. I think it take at least two bantam eggs to equal a regular egg when it comes to cooking and baking. I'm sure I can find people to take/buy extra eggs. I'm not planning on rooster anytime soon so I won't have any chicks.
The plan is to have the hens live in the portable coop and move the coop around the yard about once a week. This will allow them to dig up and eat bugs plus fertilize the ground they are on. When it's time to prep the garden, they will be enclosed in there to root around for bugs and things.
My set up won't look like this but it will give you an idea. In fall, when the garden is spent and everything is harvested, the chickens will dig it up looking for bugs and will fertilize it. Then the winter crop of clover (or whatever is needed) will be planted. In spring, when that has died back, the chickens will dig it up (working it back into the soil) and will fertilize again.
My garden will have to be fenced off to keep the cats out of it - they would use it as a litter box - not to mention deer and rabbits and whatever. In all likelihood, I will end up getting 10' high kennel panels as the fencing because the ground is so damn rocky here. For example, I planted a single mum and in order to make the hole big enough around and deep enough, I dug up just over 28 lbs of rock. Yeah, 28 lbs of rock. Most of it was one rock in particular.
My garden will likely be a combination of tilled earth with good dirt and compost/manure added to it. And it will be at the bottom of a slight slope so inside the fence, I will have to have some kind of border that will keep water from washing everything away.
I'm checking out craigslist as often as I can, hoping I will find good deals on kennel panels and good dirt, etc etc. Right now I'm finding lots of listings for livestock of all kind - peacocks and alpacas, horses and pigs, goats and chickens. Farmers are culling/thinning their herds so they have fewer to feed over winter. And I'm wanting some of the livestock but don't have any shelter or fencing for them. So frustrating. The prices are good right now but will go up come spring...... so very very frustrating.