Our Fearless Chicken Farmer–Fall Update

Today’s post is a guest post from Dan. I know I’m supposed to be writing everyday for NaBloWriMo so this little intro blurb would be it. 🙂 –Julie

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Well I’m still at it.  Farming them chickens and learning as I go.

One of my girls had Scaly Leg Mites and by the time I noticed her feet were so bad she was having a hard time getting out of the coop.  After reading a ton of stuff on the internet I decided to go with one remedy that worked well.  First I totally cleaned the shed and then used 7 Dust before putting the wood shavings down.  Then at night I would lift her off her roost and place her feet in cooking oil for a few seconds.  I did this for a week and her feet are now normal again.  I am going to build a little box inside the coop where they first enter and fill it with Diatomaceous earth to prevent that from happening again.

What was really funny was that when I was in the shed cleaning it I turned around and noticed I had an audience.  I have two Plymouth Rock hens and both of them where sitting on the bottom roost watching me.  I turned back around to finish cleaning the nesting boxes and heard a commotion.  This time the other 4 hens had joined the Plymouths.  I started feeling a little creepy about them figuring that maybe they were going to gang up on me.

 

I’ve also notice that anytime I open the door to the run the Plymouth Rock ladies are the first to come running.  Every morning I enter the shed and scoop up a little scratch and then enter the coop to throw the scratch out the opening into their yard.  Well guess who is always waiting for me on the step going out the coop.  That’s right, the Plymouth Rock ladies.

I figured they must be real friendly or greedy little buggers.  Yesterday I tried to see if they were friendly when I entered their yard.  Well one tried to eat my finger and the other let me pet the back of her head so I’m still undecided.

Since the sun has shifted in the sky I need to extend their yard where they can be out from under the roofing of the yard and get more sunshine.  So that’s a project I plan on getting to in the next couple of weeks.

It took them a month or so to figure out what the sand box was for and now it’s not uncommon to see 2 or 3 of them crowded into it dust bathing during the day.

The days are getting shorter and already their egg production is dropping off.  I also noticed they don’t come out so quickly in the morning.  It’s like 8 or 8:30 before they all are out of the coop.  One morning the sky was so thick with clouds and rain I didn’t see them in the yard and went and looked in the coop and they were all on their roost wide awake and they looked at me like I was stupid.  I just shut the door and went back inside.

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Dan Shaw, chicken farmer and entrepreneur.  http://www.diyyardandhome.com

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6 Responses to Our Fearless Chicken Farmer–Fall Update

  1. Glory Lennon says:

    Hmm, you ain’t so dumb if you can learn from your chickens! They did teach you when you should get out of the rain! 😉
    And Julie, this counts too. You may not have written it but it’s perfect for your blog. It’s still blogging!

  2. Trish says:

    Add a little of your Diatomaceous earth to their dusting box, too! Mite and lice prevention. And I also had scaly leg mites and used liquid Campho-phenique a week apart at roost time. Smelled really good! Did the job. I then added the straight Diatomaceous earth foot bath inside their hatch door that forces them into it a few times a day.

  3. Trish says:

    Forgot to mention that some people add some Diatomaceous earth into nest boxes too.

    • Dan Shaw says:

      Trish: I already add some to their dusting area, mix it in with the sand but the one that got it doesn’t like the sand too much. She is also the one least liked by the other hens. She is the same breed as the rooster so it might be a jealousy thing going on?

      Debbie, we have a Quaker and your right she isn’t dumb at all. Just spoiled rotten. She loves to call Kitty, kitty, kitty and when the stupid cat comes she mutters under breath at it with a Damn It out loud once in awhile. (we didn’t teach her that, my mother in law did by just saying one time to her) She does have her animals mixed up though cause when we bark at her she says Kitty Kitty Kitty and when we say just the opposite she replies the opposite.

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