Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken palace

The hens are officially moved out of the chicken shack and into their new chicken palace.
The new coop. It is 6 feet tall, 9 feet long, 5 feet deep.

The hens perch and the henhouse

Their new nest box (with 2 nest box roll away inserts).

The nest box inserts

Perch/sleeping roost inside henhouse
The gals checking out their new digs.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Raise the roof

After ~10 hours of work today we have the roof up on the coop and the hen house portion is fully framed.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New coop

We started working on the new coop today. We have the edge piers in the ground. They are 8X8X16 inch cement blocks. We also finished framing one wall. Exciting!
The corner piers are in the ground and the wholes are dug for the other 4 blocks.

The frame for the front wall of the new coop.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lots of hard work and exciting things to come

For the last few weeks we have had issues with the hens eating their own eggs. It was terrible. We tried many suggestions to get them to stop: adding fake eggs to the nest boxes, covering the fake eggs with mustard, and even filling eggshells with mustard. Nothing worked. We purchased nest box inserts that have a roll away design. The idea is that the hen lays the egg, is rolls down a slight ramp, and is deposited in a place inaccessible to the hen. That worked for us! Yesterday we got one egg but saw the remains of an eaten egg. Today we collected 3 fresh eggs! HOORAY~

Today was also a long and exciting day in the backyard. We moved the coop to a different location in the backyard. We dug out all of the remaining deep litter (a gross and difficult job) and roughly leveled the spot where the coop had been located. This was all done because tomorrow we are getting a huge pile of materials delivered to the house so that we can build a brand new coop for the hens! The gals are going to get a palace. It will be 5 feet wide by 9.5 feet long and 6 feet tall. It will be easier for us to clean but more importantly it will give the hens a lot more room to roam. We are very excited but it will be a big project! Hopefully we will have photos soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012


It is mid February and the hens have finally gotten used to winter. After the first few snowfalls they were not happy. Willow initially refused to stand on the snow and would perch on the food dish and stick her head into it from the top in order to eat.

Willow standing on the lid/top of the feeder.
The hens have also been molting. While they look fine with their seasonal feather loss it means that I am cleaning out the bedding/molted feather mix every few days.
Willow standing in the bedding/feather mix created after just 2 days. How are they losing so many feathers and still looking relatively normal???

The ladies moving around the henhouse while getting settled for the evening. Merrill is on a perch, Henrietta is looking to the left, Willow is at the front left looking at the camera suspiciously, and Tara is coming in from the cold.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cluck cluck cluck

I was cleaning out the chicken coop this evening. The hens are molting and they basically explode feathers daily. Every few days I need to completely clean the coop of all the feathers that have now mixed with the bedding to create a fluffy colorful floor to the coop. I got home later than expected so it was getting close to dusk. I am cleaning the coop out and the hens are all clucking at me desperate to get back in their home. "Momma hen, it is late! It is dark! We need safety! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Move, move MOOOOVE!". I managed to clean it all out and the second I finished I had four excited hens running into the coop and leaping up onto the perch for the night. It was quite the site. I image it all looked ridiculous to the neighbor watching me do the cleanup.