Saturday, January 23, 2016

Spring Cleaning

I took advantage of the break in between storms to really clean out the coop today.  I ran to the feed store before I got all dirty and bought more feed, pine shavings, oyster shells and grit.  Course a storm cloud passed over just as it was time to load up my car.

Then I proceeded to give the coop and run a really good cleaning.  I never cease to be amazed at how much dust these four ladies can kick up.  And now that their run is fully roofed, there is no rain to tamp down the dust.  But on the flip side, they are high and dry.  Their feed is dry and they have a place to dust bath year round which is really nice.

My new flower pot.  She just had to come home with me from the garden center.  It's one of the few spots of color in the yard this time of the year.

This is the coop where the girls sleep and lay eggs.  I vacuumed all the dust off the outside and the cobwebs from the inside.

The lighting on this photo is awful.  But on the left is the corner of their coop.  The little coop in the back was my original. It's just too cute for me to part with.  I hope to have a broody raise babies in there this spring.  The reason the lighting is so bad is that their run is fully roofed and it allows in minimal light. 

This is their dust bathing area.  I saw something like this on Pinterest but they had used logs.  I wasn't able to find any so I bought cinder blocks with caps and it works.  The girls love it.  You can see it got some use today.  If you look to the left you can see that I had a guy put 1/2 hard wire cloth over EVERY opening into their run and this has keep out all mice and rats thus far.  Which is VERY nice for me.

This was my original coop.  It was just too small for my big birds.  I paid a little extra for the cute red roof.  Which is rarely red but typically covered with dust.  We'll see how long it stays red this time.

Different angle on their dust bathing area. You can see from the two huge imprints that I do indeed have big girls.

I moved the two cinder blocks and 2x4 over to the wall.  This wall gets morning sun and will give them a sunny spot to hang out while they wait for the sun to hit the rest of the run.

Grit on the left.  Oyster shell in the middle.  And bird charcoal on the right.  They eat this as they feel the need to flush toxins from their system.  I don't put out much.  But they do seem to enjoy it.

Peaches enjoying some warm mash before I put them back into their run.

Pickels is the blond and Coco is the black hen enjoying mash.  That's Peaches fluffy bottom on the right.

Pearl is behind the pots inside the wire ring.  Poor thing is simply terrified of EVERYTHING and wasn't having anything to do with my camera.  

And this is how the majority of my photos come out - the girls giving me the tail.  

Clean nests topped off with more shavings and a big scoop of Nesting Box Blend.  If you haven't discovered this stuff, you must.  It's made by Treats for Chickens and simply smells divine.  

And the inside of the coop.  No more cobwebs.  And lots of fresh pine shavings under the roosts sprinkled with PDZ to help keep oder to a minimum.

And I know this is hugely unattractive, but I have wire rings around my tastier pots to keep the hens from eating them to nothing.  When spring arrives, there will be more things in the garden and they will move on and I can remove these.


  1. I am glad that I am not the only one to vacuum my coop when I replace the shavings. As you say it gets rid of dust and cobwebs. I also get loads of those tail shots. I take loads of photos to get some good ones because many a time they just turn away from me as I click or there is a sudden movement from them leaving a blurred head shot.

  2. I actually got the idea to vacuum from you! It really was the least messy way to clean up. Using water just makes mud. Trying to sweep it makes more dust than you can imagine. Unfortunate, the vacuum will never be the same and is now dedicated for the garage and chicken run. But if it makes my life easier, I'm all over it.

  3. Just checked back in and saw your reply. Wow! I can't believe that I am a trend setter. We use a "Henry", not sure if you have those but it copes really well with everything we throw at it. My husband vacuums the ashes from the fire place and sometimes leaves from the difficult to reach bit behind our work cabin. I am sure we use it for far more than it's meant for but we have had it years and it works fine. You are right that it is by far the easiest way to get rid of dust. I have long since learned that adding water to the mix is really not helpful.

  4. I have an old Dyson vacuum from the house that got put in the garage when we bought a new one. I was going to sell it at a garage sale that I never got around to hosting. Then it got used to clean the garage and I thought well, that's never coming back inside the house. And so it's now been demoted to cleaning out the chicken run. I didn't do such a good job w/ the cobwebs up in the roof over the run. So I may have to pull it back out one of these nice weekends and give it another go. It really does look nice out there.