Well week six was a washout for the most part. Rain, rain and more rain. I was tempted to borrow Glory’s Duck Boots …
Before I get to this past week I have to report we got our chicken operating manual Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens. Now that doesn’t mean I won’t have any questions in the future but it may prevent me from asking ignorant ones. (Don’t count on it though.)
We also received our first two chicken farming catalogs in the mail. After looking through them I found there is over four pages of chicken medications and was alarmed at all the treatments they may need. Do chickens become hypochondriacs? I sure hope not.
We also received a bi-monthly magazine about chickens and from one article I learned that besides eating, chickens favorite pastime is pooping; that there will be no grass left in their yard after I increase my flock; and that their playpen will become a muddy quagmire that will in no time become a layer of wet poop. My wife said her friend who is selling us the chickens puts down a layer of straw in the chicken yard and then changes it out when it starts to get messy. The only good thing I learned about this is that the chicken poop is excellent to add to my future mulch bins. If anyone knows a better way to keep the chicken yard clean please let me know.
I also learned that chickens like people food and leftovers. If Termite finds this out he might not be so keen on protecting them.
So let’s go over what I got done last week. As you can see in the photo below I did get the cover to the chicken’s playpen done. I used chicken wire and then Beth was kind enough to clip all the fence lengths together using cage clips. I also managed to figure out how to put an awning over the window that is above the yard. As you can tell I used scrap pieces of wood I had under the shed.
Inside the yard I put two roosts and they are both about 4 feet wide so the little ladies can fight over who gets to use them. Maybe I’ll add a third section in the middle if it’s necessary. In the photo they look a little low but that is because of the angle the photo was taken. It’s about 42 inches from the ground to the top of the perch. I’m also going to box in an area in the yard to create an area for their dust baths.
Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get the fencing in around the base of the shed. On the high side I’ll have to figure out how to put fencing in that can be removed so when I need to get under the shed to clean it, it will be easier then crawling under it.
Well, that’s it for this week. Any ideas on how to keep the yard clean outside of using straw would be appreciated. Also, what is the most common ailment I can expect the chickens to develop?
Dan Shaw, future chicken farmer and entrepreneur. http://www.diyyardandhome.com
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