This most recent blog post is an inquiry into another eco-friendly form of power, sun power. The sun fuels the grasses and perennials that cover the landscape of the MacCurdy Farm. Why shouldn’t it also fuel the poultry winter housing? Recently, I finished the installation of the new three tab shingled roof on our 24′ x 11′ gambrel roof chicken barn, which we have erected on temporary concrete block footings so that it can be moved to the pasture, if need be. No harm in more portable housing. The barn is docked, so to write, near our other chicken coop for the approaching winter. Little by little the building is taking shape. Next comes the 1 x 8 barn board siding, the attached fenced in run for winter exercise, and a solar panel to provide adequate heat and lighting through the cold winter months. It seems to be an increasing trend towards self-sustainability in society and in keeping with that philosophy of mind, I had a personal eureka that getting off the grid as much as possible wouldn’t be such an intolerable idea. Perhaps, I am behind some of in terms of this school of thought but, in all due fairness, life’s journey has many twists and turns in our search for truth and love.
I am putting a call out for a licensed electrician to install outlets, switches, light bulb receptacles, an inverter and a solar panel on our winterhousing chicken barn. Willing to barter or pay cash for some work on the barn.
I am hoping to purchase a solar panel from Canadian solar but am willing to consider other options should any of our readers have suggestions for a solar panel that would provide enough wattage for several light bulbs and outlets this winter. Given that this barn houses our very hardy heritage breeds while the other production layers are in our insulated coop, there is no rush. However, I’d like to get started on the next project at the farm so any advice, encouragement, or suggestions would be much appreciated. Hoping someone out there can offer a guiding hand into this area.
In the meantime, I’ll be working on the attached rain barrel and spout for the barn so that we can collect rain water for the chickens and thereby limit the amount of water used from our well. Finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is always at the back of our minds. Recently, my father remarked on the importance of limiting the amount of contact to a cattle feed (i.e., perennial grasses) in order to maintain a higher feed value. Basically, the less the feed comes in contact with farm implements, more crude protein and other essential digestible nutrients remain in the feed. I nodded in agreement and added, “Imagine if the tractor didn’t touch it at all.” My father grew up in an age of industry post-WWII. The use of farm machinery, in land stewardship, is something to which my father spends a great deal of time marvelling. It is the reason for his uncanny ability to operate and maintain farm machinery, his devotion to Massey Ferguson, and his exhortations on farm machinery safety. However, despite this, he still sees the importance of the natural way of managing livestock, like giving cattle continual access to grass with minimal use of diesel powered tractors. However, it is breaking the forces of habit that takes time (much like my forces of habit in taking electricity for granted and not considering alternative sources of power) in realizing these ideals. So what do we do? Take the time to consider others ideas, endorse them, sew a seed for your interests and ideas, and converse about the endless opportunities that exist on the family farm. Something will undoubtedly come to be.
Looking forward to hearing from you on these thoughts and ideas about a solar powered chicken barn. Please contact us via our facebook page or my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!