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Portable Chicken house for 130 Chickens
If you are wanting to get started in free range egg farming, or want something to can work with and improve your current farming operation with sheep, cattle or orchids, the Chicken Caravan 130 is a great way to get started into free range egg farming. The Chicken Caravan 130 is a movable chicken shed with rollaway nesting boxes, that houses 130 laying hens. It’s used by many farmers across Australia. It’s great because you can fit it into small pockets of pasture of your farm, and increase overall production from your farm.
We just have a standard jockey wheel like you find on most trailers, and it’s just a flip-up jockey wheel, so you can flip it up when you want to move the Caravan to a new location. We’ve got a catch under here where you just pull out, and they’re on lockable gas struts so we can lock it off at any level. Today there’s a little bit of wind around, so if you’d want to, you can lock it down to about there. It still gives the chickens plenty of access to go in and out, and then in a very hot, sunny day or perhaps if its wet, you get the opportunity to pull the doors right out like that, creating a lot of shade and a lot of shelter for the birds. It’s similar to the 450, we do have the same size rollers and also the same nesting boxes. They run across the Caravan just parallel with the axle rather than length ways, and they still have the rollaway nesting boxes, and also the nesting box gates. To collect the eggs, just pull this shelf down here, (we’ve got a nice big tray where you can put your plastic egg tray), and then just simply wind the eggs in.
And look at that: they come out nice and clean with the rollaway nesting boxes, and you can just put them in your trays: very easy! Just below the nesting boxes we have nine perches for them to sleep on at night. And then when they come into lay, they just hop up on the perches to the edge of the nesting boxes, and then hop in. And we use an Astro Turf matting same as the Chicken Caravan 450. Here at the back of the Chicken Caravan, here’s our back roller. It’s the same size roller as we use on the larger model, and its also got the same adjustment points, so if ever the belt is loose, you can just turn these nuts just half a turn (you’ve got two on each side), which will just pull that roller out a bit, putting a little bit more tension on the belt. We have a timer box here, with a 12 – volt battery at the back, and this wire going up here, it goes to a solar panel on the roof. Now the solar panel charges the battery, and it goes to the timer box and that’s to adjust the nesting box gates: to open and close them, so birds won’t sit in the nesting boxes at night.
Here at the back of the Chicken Caravan, we have another jockey wheel. This acts as a stabilizer, just so if you walk in the back of the Chicken Caravan, you’re not going to tip it up because it’s a smaller model. Also in a little bit of windy conditions it acts as an extra stabilizer. The reason we’ve used a jockey wheel and not a jack-stand solid leg is, if you do forget to wind it up and you start moving along, you will probably feel that hit, and it will just roll along rather than bending a leg and doing damage to the unit. One of the options for the Chicken Caravan 130 is a water trough and water tank that catches rain off the roof of the Chicken Caravan. We have a 130-litre water tank on the front, and that collects rainwater from the roof then goes down this pipe, and fills it up. It’s also got a standard garden hose connection: if you need to top up the water tank, just put an ordinary garden hose, and fill that up. You’ve got your chicken drinker there, and as you can see the chickens just flu up on this bar here or just the A – Frame to drink out of it. And you can also pull the drinker off and sit it on the ground. So you have it down there for the birds to get full access to that.
All right, this is Nate Storey with Bright Agrotech, and today we’re going to talk about a really simple and inexpensive way to cool your greenhouse. It is the summertime and things are getting hot, all of that excess sun from early in the morning to late at night, the ground is heating up, the plants aren’t using all of it, and a lot of it is trying to heat inside our greenhouses. So, if you are in a dry or arid climate where you don’t have an awful lot of humidity, cooling walls are absolutely the best way to cool your greenhouse off.
Now, for those of you who are going to say, “Oh, well cooling walls are really expensive and I don’t know if I can afford one.” Today we’re down at Bayberry Fresh and we’re going to walk you through this homemade cooling wall. All right, so this is a really simple device, it is essentially this big cardboard pad. This cardboard has channels running this way, channels running this way. At the top, we basically have a PVC pipe up here, I’ll let you guys get a shot of that a little later, but there’s holes in that PVC pipe and what it’s doing is, it’s pumping water up from our sump over here, pumping up through this PVC pipe and it just trickles out to the top of this pad. As the water moves through this pad, and yo can see how wet that is, it is just dribbling down through there.
The fans at the other end of the greenhouse are pulling air through there, so all of that air as it is pulled through this wet pad, it’s cooling our air. We’ve got really dry air coming in, it comes out on this side, with a little more humidity, and it is way cooler. These are by far the easiest and the most best cost effective way to cool these things. You can buy these pads on laces like Hydro-gardens.com, Greenhouse Megastore, they will just sell you these raw pads, so you can rig these up. You can see he’s just got them rigged up with 2×4’s, he’s got a 6-inch PVC pipe down here cut in half, to capture that water. It all just kind of runs back down towards this end and drops into our 55-gallon barrel. So instead of going out and spending thousands on a pre-made, pre-fabricated cooling wall, you can make your own really easily, really inexpensively, and you can get a lot of work out of it. This wall here is cooling the entire greenhouse, and right now there is only one fan running.
So one fan is running, it’s pulling air through this pad, and cooling the entire greenhouse. Pretty simple. Pretty easy. Plumbing wise, again, we’ve got this 6-inch pipe capturing this water. Down here you’re going to see we’ve got this pump, sitting in this 65-gallon barrel and it is pumping that sump water up, through the pad. Now the only caveat with these walls is that they do tend to use a lot of water. Hayden was telling me he goes through like 30-40 gallons a day on this cooling wall to keep this place cool when the weather is really hot. That’s something to keep in mind. If you don’t have a lot of water, maybe think about it. But this is going to be the cheapest possible way to cool your greenhouse off in the heat of summer. I hope this article was useful to you, if you have more questions or you want to learn more check out our blog.
So, the next thing we’re going to talk about is the staffing plan. So, usually, when I ask people what the most expensive part of a start-up is. People will say, well it’s gotta to be the equipment you buy, or the building that you lease. But the reality is most of the cost that you are going to be encountering in your start up are actually in the form of people. so, coming up with an accurate staffing plan is critical. So the most important thing you need to know before you start building your staffing plan is what your operating plan is.
So understanding what work you’re going to need to do when, and who is going to need to do that work, is the key input to a staffing plan. At the end of it, you’re going to have a table that outlines when to hire employees and roughly how big your company will actually be. Let’s take a look at a sample company plan here. So this is an example of a catheter company plan. The employee plan and basically you can see that in the, on the left, we have broken the organization up into various different types of employees. Across the top, we have the quarters or the time period in which we would need to hire those employees. So, what you want to do is, I like to put my catheter, you know, my operating plan and my employee plan on the same page because that way I can very quickly look up and say. Let me see. I was planning in doing initial catheter prototyping in queue one. Well I better have some catheter engineers in queue one, and you can imagine going all the way through the entire plan and figuring out exactly when all of those people need to be involved. So, in this sample model the blue numbers represent assumptions, things that can be changed, and the black represents just basic modeling information, things that we don’t change. So, what you want to do is construct your operating plan, and go through, and build your employee staffing plan as a result of that.
So, if you look at our example company here in the beginning this company is mostly technical people right if you look here in the first couple of years what you see is you got a lot of engineers floating around you’ve got a clinical advisers over here. You’ve got a manager that kind of manages the whole thing that’s sort of the early phase of this company if you look out in later years what you see and this is very common is that the commercial team whether that’s the marketing folks, or the sales force. Those guys really start to take over the business. They become a much more integral part of the business as you get further out. [COUGH] When we create these plans we look for something called comps, comparables, and to, and we often construct ratios to get a sense of how often or how things are lining up in our plan. So for example, I’ve created this analysis section down here at the bottom of the plan. One of the multiples that I always like to look at is the SGNA to RND multiple and what that means is I’m basically dividing.
The number of RND guys into the number of SG&A or selling general administrative resources, and in the beginning, not surprisingly, this ratio is less than one. This is, this makes a lot of sense, because the company is mostly technical folks. Out at the end, what you can see is the ratio gets up above three, and a good rule of thumb that many people use when they look at medical device startups is, the number of SG&A to R&D, team members. When the company is fully commercial. Should be in the two and a half to three and a half range. So when you build your models, you should be shooting for a similar ratio.
You can construct all sorts of other ratios along the way, like the number of units per assembler. So on this particular model we’ve decided to that we will be actually building our own product, and to do that we have this group, we have this group called Manufacturing Assemblers. So as our revenue goes up. We would expect the number of manufacturing assemblers that we need to scale appropriately. What you want to do is construct a ratio that says here’s the number of products that I believe I will sell and divide the number of assemblers into that product to see, to give yourself the confidence that your assumptions make sense.
So, that’s how I construct a staffing plan in a particular startup company. So, when you look at this sample model I’ve coded this in a particular way to help you understand how the model works. The black cells are either formulas or data that is not meant to be changed. The blue cells all represent inputs. So, when you create your own particular model, you can vary the inputs, based on your particular business, by changing the cells in blue. So people often ask me where I get these particular ratios, and what I would say is the most helpful person to talk to about a financial model is somebody like a Chief Financial Officer of a startup company, and so the idea if I were building this and trying to be as accurate as possible.
I would want to go ahead and find somebody that’s built one of these before. They’re going to have all of their own rules and tips and tricks to make sure that your plain is realistic, because again at the end of the day, you’re going to to be using this information of figure out how much money you need to raise, and we want that to be as accurate as possible.
It started out of necessity. Really was a run as fast as I can, and try to build something sustainable.
This is our first year that we were actually eligible for the Inc 5000 list. Seeing that number on that piece of paper and its just like holy crap! We were surprised that we’re even going to make the list, but when we made the list we didn’t realize that we’re going to be in the top 1000 businesses in the country. We are still young company but WOW look what we’ve done in 4 years. We’re the fastest-growing construction company in the state and one of the fastest growing companies in the country! It’s just amazing. Really starts with our clients. It starts with the people that were willing to take a risk on the small construction company, driving a beat-up Toyota Avalon to jobsite meetings. It’s one of the most expensive moments of their business is renovating, expanding, their investing their savings and sometimes they’re investing everything and it’s an all-or-nothing situation where they have to succeed so in turn we have to succeed and so that trust is so important.
Compton Construction has been around since 2012. The last two years in particular we tripled our team sizes and brought on a lot of more experienced employees and grown up a company that is almost five hundred percent growth in three years. There are just a lot of good people in Columbus. We’re building something that’s making Columbus one of the most innovative and amazing places in America. It’s because it’s accessible and it’s authentic and we’re friendly and we are good people working for good causes and we’re getting involved in our communities and staying involved.
We cannot have grown this company without people’s trust, and i just want to say thank you to all of the clients, all of the individuals, and their employees that are connected to the growth of this business. I want to thank you to all my employees, past and present, my ex-business partners. I want to thank the City of Columbus for allowing us the opportunity to build this small business and continue to grow within the city limits and support us as best as they can do I want to thank everyone who’s been connected to the growth this business even if it was just for a week. Thank you for the honor of growing Columbus and being one of the top businesses in the state.