The Swiss are so ingenious. We walked the grounds of the horse farm, filled with every fruit tree and vegetable garden and while he was showing the group the chicken coop, I was fascinated with a small sheep shed. The feed and watering systems were set up so well, for ease in caring for the sheep in winter or when they are penned.
You can easily put hay in the feeder from outside the pen.
His watering system was brilliant as well, an old clay glazed drainage tile can be filled and cleaned from outside the pen.
While just a small part of it for drinking was inside the pen, so the animals don’t get the water all dirty.
The chickens also had access to constantly clean water.
The lovely building that housed the chicken coop was actually an old cottage.
He said that an old woman had lived there and worked on the farm for 30 years, and she had no running water or bathroom, but would come up to the big house for that. A few years ago, after many battles with the government coding officials refusing to allow for the construction, they put her in a bathroom and running water for her small kitchen. All was well for a couple of years, until “they” found out, and made them rip it all out and dig up all the piping.
She now lives with them in the big house and they converted the little cottage into a chicken coop.
Great roosting area.
I was shocked to see these incredible nesting boxes. We have all sorts of invaders, crows and Magpies, which hop into our coop from below, and then steal the eggs, or just break them. No worries now, as all of our hens are either so old or molting, so I have not gotten eggs in a couple of months.
But no marauder could steal eggs from this coop. A hen has her own private nest.
The bottom of the nest slants slightly and there is a hole in the middle for the egg to drop down.
A tray is beneath it, also slanted towards the front of the nest boxes and is lined with wire for a springy landing for the egg not to break.
The eggs roll to the front of the trays and remain perfectly clean. BTW, Europeans never wash their eggs, as they know that the protective layer which keeps out bacteria and air will be washed off. They display eggs for sale on room temperature shelves, and also keep their eggs in the kitchen on their counter as opposed to a refrigerator.
The Swiss are never lacking for the freshest, artisan breads, and the day old bread goes to the chickens.
I loved the other ways they use old sinks for washing up the coop.
and the other farm relics were wonderful.