Jacob Springs Farm through Agronimo is developing an open source designed Eggmobile (mobile henhouse) through the agronimo initiative to make appropriate-scale farm tech available to all. The Eggmobile project consists of three parts which are being developed to work together to create a profitable and replicable farm program that others can implement and build upon.
- The designs for the physical wagon
- The business model for sustainable and profitable egg production and flock management
- The hardware, firmware and software for streamlined management of the process (see Eggmobile controller)
Why an eggmobile?
In every natural system involving herds of grazing herbivores, huge flocks of birds play an integral role and occupy a unique niche in the ecosystem.
- birds eat insects and small rodents exposed by the grazing
- birds disperse manure and dig to find fly larvae reducing flies
Using chickens to follow cattle and sheep herds can imitate this effect and create benefits
- chickens utilize insect protein enhancing their health and improving the quality of their eggs
- chickens utilize fallen seeds from grasses and other pasture plants
- chickens forage for greens reducing their dependance on purchased feeds and improving health and quality
- chickens "bless" the fields with large quantities of high quality manure
From the point of view of the farmer an eggmobile provides the highest quality eggs with reduced feed costs, however without efficient electronic monitoring and control (as with an Eggmobile controller) it can come with high labor requirements
The Jacob Springs Farm eggmobile should hold approximately 500 hens with room for each one to roost. It should be well ventilated and easy to clean, yet be possible to close up for wintertime shelter when the eggmobile won't be moved much.
The eggmobile should be predator proof and have a working solar-powered chicken door that closed after dark, protecting chickens, and opens at dawn - allowing them to forage.
It should be towable and able to get through gates that are 10'-12' wide and 48" high.
The eggmobile should be equipped with a waterer and a feeder enabling it to potentially go for several days without human intervention.
It should contain nesting boxes that are adequate for the chickens within, the eggs should be accessible by a person on the ground outside, but not by raccoons.