Oh, you guys are back to laying eggs?

14 eggs in the coop today. Guess I haven't checked in awhile. I think that's called a Lazy Farmer's Dozen.

14 eggs in the coop today. Guess I haven’t checked in awhile. I think that’s called a Lazy Farmer’s Dozen.

Written by dan in: Chickens,Foraging | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicken Coop Upgrade

We have had chicks in the basement in a box that fit them just fine when we first got them, but they’ve grown quite a bit in the last month. They’ve got plenty of feathers now, so it was time to put them outside (plus, our basement was starting to smell like a barn). In order to make the transition, I had to build a new house for them inside the coop. It could use a coat of paint, and come spring it will need a few nesting boxes, but it’s a big improvement over the last one.

After a day out in the new coop, I will say that the concept of ramps is a pretty complicated one for a chicken brain to wrap itself around. Or maybe they just like to stay close to the heat lamp. Hopefully, they’ll figure it out soon and learn how to scratch around for worms. Either way, Bob Dylan is happy for the company out there.


Chicken Coop Improvements

We are leaving town for a few days over Thanksgiving, and, assuming it would be tricky to line up a chicken-sitter who would come over at 7 am and let them out, and then back at 5 to close the coop door, I am working on some improvements to the chicken coop. As you may remember, we got a little lax on security and it didn’t end well for our last pair of hens. So now we’ve been diligently locking them in the coop every night, but it kind of seems mean to leave them in there for 4 days. It’s a pretty small coop (the size of a big dog house, maybe), and it doesn’t get much light.

So I’m trying to make an enclosed area that gives them outdoor access but also keeps them safe from cougars and racoons.

I also installed a motion-sensing light outside, so hopefully anything sneaking around there at night will get a blast of light in their eyes and get scared off. (I have cooled off from my original “racoon poison” Google searches.)

I also installed a heat lamp in their coop. I have heard different opinions on lamps — they keep them warm (even though they all snuggle together when they sleep), the light encourages them to lay eggs in the winter… I don’t know if it’s necessary or not. Tonight was going to be the first night with it on, but after some online reading, I went out and turned it off. I think I need to switch to a red bulb if nothing else; who can sleep with a big bright light shining in your face? Or maybe I’ll try just setting the timer to run from 4 – 7 at night, or maybe 5 – 7 am? Anybody have any ideas?

It looks tight, but it keeps them safe.

It looks tight, but it keeps them safe.

Written by dan in: Chickens | Tags: , , , | No Comments

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