Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fall Cleaning


Spent the morning cleaning up the girls run.  I was a big fan of sand on the floor of the coop.  Makes it really easy to scoop up the droppings each morning and know the girls have a clean house for the day.  But the sand just gets nasty after a while so several times a year I remove all of it completely and replace.  But this time I opted to go back to shavings.

I've had my eye on a new and larger coop for the girls for a long while now.  A coop that allows me to install a poop board under their roost so that scraping out the bulk of the droppings every day or every other day is a snap.  And I'm finally ready to order it.

So then the question is, what to do with the old coop.  Honestly, I'm not positive we could get it out of the run thru the gate.  And I do still love it.  So I'm going to have the guys move it to the opposite side of the run and use it as a maternity ward.

Honey Bear seems to go broody every four weeks and I might just have to let her be a mama once again.  She was an excellent mama a year ago when she raised the three little ones.

Last weekend the hens got baths.  Have been putting oil on their feet to get rid of a light case of scaly leg mites and couldn't stand that their tummy feathers got dirty.  Here's Honey Bear in the tub.  She LOVES a bath.  If you watch to 1:40, you'll see her nibble uncontrollably on the sink, she's SUPER ticklish.  I promise to get a better video of this with her in my lap on the patio.  It's hysterical.


video

Coco is molting.  For some reason, she did not molt last year so her feathers are trashed.  She started by replacing the feathers on her head and neck.  If you look closely, you can see how glossy black her new feathers are compared to the duller, almost brown ones.

Look at her tail feathers!  Or what is left of them.  Most are broken and all are frayed.  I can't wait for her to grow new tail feathers.

The inside of their clean coop.  I scrubbed the inside and sprayed for bugs.  I also made nest box curtains.  The little hens really want privacy when they lay and if anyone comes in and stares at them, they make an awful racket.  The curtains  were new and scary today but I'm hopeful that in a day or two, they come to appreciate them.  If nothing more, they can look at the pretty roosters while they lay.  ;-)

Honey Bear had an egg to lay and stayed in the coop the whole time I was in there.  You can see that she fills up the whole nest with her 8lbs of girth and feathers.
 
I turned the ladder flat and put it up on cinder blocks.  It's up against the fence that will get sun all winter long and I think the girls will like hanging out up there, warming themselves when the sun is out.

I also loosened up the dust bathing area.  It's a huge area full of damp, loamy soil, sand, rice hulls, etc.  The girls love to roll around in it.

Honey Bear has the sweetest face.  She also makes an excellent mama hen and while I'm not ready for more chickens, I might just have to let her be a mama again in the spring in the newly appointed maternity ward coop.

4 comments:

  1. Honey was so well behaved in the bath. love those curtains. My Pepper and Dotty have those ragged tail feathers. I can't wait to see them with new feathers. Your girls are all so beautiful.

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  2. Oh thank you. They can be good. And then there are mornings like today. OMG, did everyone get off on the wrong side of the roost today?

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  3. So glad to hear from you again! Love all the photos of your gorgeous girls! Cute video! Honey Bear is such a good girl in her bath. Lulu wasn't that patient. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Cute nest box curtains, Amy! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete