Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Hidie Hole

Our chickens are free-range chickens. When we let them out of the Super Max they run to check out the horse stalls. Then they break up into groups where some head for a dust bath in the dirt below one of our decks. Others head to one pasture and some go out back by the manure shed. From there they randomly visit everywhere on the property. If anything has grown or if a new insect shows up they take care of it.

I though I found all their egg laying areas outside of the coop. Sometimes there is just a real good spot where there is a covered area or some hay and they make a nest and lay an egg. This is why I keep my hay storage room closed at all times. One day I left it open to air it out and I later found ten eggs scattered on bales of hay.

Yesterday evening I was taking care of the horses and I noticed one Orpington scooting herself under the hay room. I intentionally built this building off the ground on pier blocks to minimize moisture. There is probably eight inches between the ground and the bottom of the floor joists. I had never seen a chicken go under there before so I got down on the ground to get her out before she got stuck.

Once I got her out I saw some eggs under there. I would reach several of them that were at arms length, but I had to get a flash light from the house to take a good look before sealing up. When illuminated I saw a vast storehouse of eggs. I had to go to my shop to get something with a longer reach than my arm. I came back with a four foot bar clamp.

I lay on a stall mat raking eggs out of the space. My horse was concerned that I was on the ground and not standing up tending his food issues. After a few moments I felt confident I got them all. In the end I retrieved 30 eggs that all had to be turned into compost. The chickens started laying in December and some of the eggs may have been there since then.

I stapled some bird netting over the space where they were getting in. Now I need to poke around and see where else they may be laying.


Blogger JustRex said...

Make sure you check all of your pockets before you sit down.

6:01 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I've noticed a few more potential spots for them to invade now they are blocked from where I found them.

5:11 AM  
Blogger JustRex said...

I suspect that you will never find them all, tho. Chickens are contrary and devious as all hell.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My ducks are way worse than the hens for finding odd spots to lay. The dogs have learned to follow the ducks for a quick egg snack. Eggy dog farts are NOT good.

6:38 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Dogs are gross. I'm finding fewer and fewer things about them that are charming.

5:37 AM  

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