Tuesday, March 1, 2011

House Cleaning

Weekend chores now include tidying up the girls run.  Not the most exciting chore but pretty easy to do and lets me spend some time with my girls.  The girls follow me around and supervise what I'm doing and make sure it passes inspection.

I moved the compost bin into the girls run back when we built it so I could easily toss what they don't eat and the "deposits" from the floor of their hen house into the bin.  So I usually start with turning the compost which means moving it over a few feet and transferring the contents back into the bin.  This helps mix up what's in it and keep the decomposition process going.  And gets the girls all excited.  They love to scratch and dig through what's left on the ground from the turning process and can hardly wait for me to finish.

Next, I scoop out the droppings from the floor of their coop.  The three of them sleep in the exact same spot on the roosting bar each night so it's just a one foot square spot to scoop.  Toss down some fresh pine shavings and a spritz of DE to prevent mites and that's done.

Next, I scrub out their waterer and refill with fresh water, and top off their feeder with food.

And finally, I give the whole yard a quick rake to get the leaves out of the eating and their dust bath area.  And even though it's all the same leaves and pine needles, raked into a pile makes it all seem new and exciting and takes the girls a day or so to kick them back all over their run.

I finish by sitting down with them and hand feeding them some BOSS (black oiled sunflower seeds) which is a crowd pleaser.  They used to be very frightened when I came in to clean their run.  I thought about moving them to a temporary pen while I was cleaning.  But decided that catching and moving them would be more upsetting.  And since this is a weekly chore, I really wanted them to get used to me being in there with a rake and spade.

And it didn't take them long at all to learn that cleaning day is a good thing followed by treats!

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