Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chicken Report

It's been a while since I've written about the chickens.  Fourteen of them are still alive and the laying is at a minimum with six of the chickens entering their fourth year, five of them entering their 3rd year and three of them finishing their first six months.  Add to that most of them are molting; some days I'm lucky to get three eggs. 

This is the latest that we've ever ordered baby chicks, and yes they are available this time of year.  We just ordered nine brown leghorns and they will resemble the birds above.  They are beautiful birds but they are supposed to be on the skittish side.  Their ear lobes are white so they will lay white eggs.

The coop I built was designed to give the chicken ample room and security from predators.  It a tall coop that an adult human can stand inside after going into the back door and then entering the inner door that separates the hens area from the food storage area.

One thing that has always been unpleasant about having chickens has been the routine coop cleaning.  We have bedding that is made from broken pellets that people use in pellet stoves.  We pour them on the floor and wet them with a hose.  The crumbles break apart and fluff up into a fine saw dust.  This stuff absorbs chicken waste beautifully and keeps the coop smelling nice, however sooner or later it reaches a critical mass and has to be removed and replaced. 

Up until recently I had to carry one shovel full at a time through the two doors to dump it in the wheel barrow, but then I realize I could cut a trap door in the back side of the coop where I could just push all the waste out through the trap door in the wall into a container outside.  The old laborious way took sometimes up to 45 minutes.  With the new way I am done in less than five minutes.

Now if only there was an easier way to deal with horse manure...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea that you can tell the color of the eggs by their earlobes. Interesting! Good job on the new poop scooping technique :)

4:39 PM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I had no idea that chickens even had ears, let alone earlobes!

How many broken pellets would it take to absorb the horse poop?

7:01 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Tango, usually you don't see the lobes because the lobes often match the color of the chicken. White chickens, white lobes...But you can see them in the picture above. The only one this lobe thing doesn't work with are Amreicanas or Araconas. They lay blue eggs and their legs are blue.

Darev, many people use them for horses as well, but it is mostly to sop up the urine. It calls for a bag a week. My stalls have drainage pipes covered by crushed stone, geo-cloth and stall mats so it drains away not needing to be sopped up.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EWWWW..sopping up like bread and gravy.

2:04 PM  

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