Sunday, June 07, 2009

More bugs on the butt

I caught one of the chickens this morning and checked out her butt, to see how our mite-powdering treatment had worked out. I was happy to see no mites on one hen, and only a few on another, but when I picked Penny up (got attacked by the rooster while I was trying to corner her), I saw a LOT of bugs on her bum! Poor Penny! So I decided to clean up the coop and spread that powder in all the corners and nest boxes, and then tonight we'll powder everyone's bums again.

So I shovelled out two wheelbarrows full of cedar chips. To get to everything I had to remove my roosts, which were just pieces of old ladder. Three of the chickens prefer to sleep on a shelf, and poop on the shelf, and it has been a terrible mess, so I removed the shelf too.

In it's place I built a big roost. It's like a big ladder, and it's hinged to the wall at the top, so I can lift the bottom and hook it to a chain in the ceiling and get it out of the way for cleaning. I saw one done that way on the net and thought it looked clever.

I also put a piece of aluminum angle on the edge of the doorway where there was rough chickenwire always sticking out to catch you as you walked in and out, and put a latch on the door so I wouldn't have to just slide a feed bucket in front of it to hold it closed. I can latch it from the inside too, so Barclay can't follow me into the coop anymore. A few weeks ago he followed me in and ran out the chicken door into the orchard and chased chickens around until I pounced on him and stopped him.

So now the coop looks like this, with the feed buckets neatly arranged in front (scratch, chick food, and layer pellets). The red glow at the bottom left is the turkey brooder. In the back left corner of the coop is Penny's nest box. I realized after I had it all set up that it would be a pain to get around the new roost to collect eggs, so I moved it to the foot of the roost. I'm sure she won't care.

Everyone came in to check it out.

They had been away from the food all day, so that was their primary interest!

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