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Chicken Sanctuary - Range Free Eggs in the City

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default Chicken Sanctuary - Range Free Eggs in the City

We did not want to be daily tied to feeding, watering and open and closing the chicken coop. We wanted our chickens to have all these things, be protected and give us Range Free Eggs. So we are developed the Chicken Sanctuary

A Chicken Sanctuary consists of two parts:

1. A wire-covered Dome to protect the chicken from dogs and other predators.
2. A Roosting\Laying A-Frame that contains two (2) laying boxes, a roosting area, watering area and an automatic door opener.

It will comfortably accommodate 4-5 chickens and only requires a 10 by 10 foot area at a time. It is designed to be movable by one person.

A Chicken Sanctuary is any structure that can be moved from place to place in a garden, yard or farm while still accommodating several chickens.

The chickens living in the Sanctuary have access to natural grass and soil surfaces for scratching providing the resources for high quality egg production, while fertilizing the soil with their manure.

Move Chicken Sanctuary Regularly equals Free Range Eggs

Since the Sanctuary Dome can be moved you will have the benefits of Free Range Chicken Eggs.

Benefits of Free Range Chicken Eggs

New test results show that free-range eggs out-perform commercially produced eggs in vitamin D for both quantity and quality. Eggs from free-range chickens show 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs.

Plentiful access to fresh grass is the primary reason for this, and the results are visible. free-range chicken egg yolks are deep yellow/orange next to the comparatively pale yellow/orange yolks of commercially produced eggs.

Chicken Sanctuary - Range Free Eggs in the City - Coops, Runs and Housing

See the difference!!

The visible difference reflects the difference in quality between free range chickens and those raised in cages. Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on grass\pasture.

Test Results Show…

An accredited laboratory in Portland, Oregon tested six eggs from each of 14 pastured flocks around the country. The report, “Meet the Real Free-range Eggs” (October - November 2007) compares the average nutrient content of the samples with the official egg nutrient data from the USDA for "conventional" (i.e. from confined hens) eggs.

The testing results showed that, eggs from hens raised free range/pastured may contain:
• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta-carotene (the nutrient responsible for the color of the yoke.)

These amazing results come from flocks that range freely on pasture or are housed in movable pens that are rotated frequently to maximize access to fresh pasture and protect the birds from predators.

Chicken Sanctuary - Range Free Eggs in the City - Coops, Runs and Housing

Chicken Sanctuary Dome

The Dome is made of PVC pipe covered with chicken wire. Being essentially a geodesic construct, it is much stronger, and the stress is distributed more equally across the structure. This means that ONE person can move it easily by standing inside the middle, lifting up and moving it without it coming apart. Unlike a traditional geodesic dome, which is an assembly of many triangles requiring many joins, this design is composed of long, curving struts, which criss-cross the structure and are anchored to the base.

Chicken Sanctuary Roosting\Laying A-Frame

In the picture, you will see the small Roosting\Laying A-Frame

It is 5 ft long and is inserted into a triangle area of the Dome. The Roosting\Laying A-Frame sits outside of the Dome. When the Dome is moved, the Roosting\Laying A-Frame is slid back and then reinsert into the Dome.

Chicken Sanctuary Roosting\Laying A-Frame Features

· Nesting boxes - two (2) with an outside access door for easy retrieval of eggs.
· Roosting area in the center of the A-Frame.
· Automatic watering device inserted into the Dome at the front.
· Automatic feeding area inside the Dome.
· Automatic door – A computer controlled door from the roosting area to the watering area closes 30 minutes after sundown and opens 30 minutes after the sunrise.

This was the first design of our Chicken Sanctuary. We are planning to build 20 - 30 of them. We plan that each one will be an improvement over the last one and we will keep you posted,

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Old 06-22-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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Slick! Very Slick!

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Old 06-22-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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Any idea what makes the free range darker, something specific in the free range diet?
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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When chickens eat grass it metabolizes into more beta carotene. That's why the yolks are so dark. Grass.

With the definitions being what they are, "free-range" in the markets is just a chicken, not in a cage that has free roam. Not one raised on grass. That is why you can buy a cage free egg in the market, and sure, the chicken isn't in a cage, but in a covered building with a tiny door. None of the hens have ever been outside, so they don't go outside.

The "true" term would be "pasture raised" hens. That is how you know they are wandering around on GRASS eating, hunting, pecking etc. That's how you get that gorgeous deep orange yolk.

They make a beautiful yellow cake!!
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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That dome would be of limited use on my property because of all the underbrush and large trees. What I ended up doing was attaching hog panels together to form a pen, as it were. I need to keep the pen in a somewhat square or rectangular configuration in order to put out chain link mats to discourage predators (or our idiot dog) from digging under. Not that the dome is a bad idea, far from it. Excellent post on the quality of free range eggs vs frankenfarm eggs! JA

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