Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Changes - they are a comin' aka how to put a chicken down for a nap

In case you were wondering (and I know you're not, but I'm going to tell you anyway) we still have not finished the coop.

Gene and I were discussing this fact the other day and realized that we seem to be pretty darn happy with projects once they hit the 87.4% completion point.

Keeps rain off? check!
Keeps raccoons out? check!
Painted and has a door? check!
Window for ventilation? check!
Places for chickens to sleep? ummmmm

I'd read article after forum on the best way to set up a coop. Where your roosts should be in configuration to your windows. Where your nesting boxes should be in configuration to your roosts. Blah blah blah.

But the truth was, that my chicken's "roost" when they were little was a board on top of 2 buckets. As they moved into their coop, they figured out that the spacers between the studs was the BEST roosts EVER.

They would cram 5 chickens in a 2 chicken hole, just trying to jockey for the best spots. It was better than WWF, but usually there was some pecking of feet involved instead of a folding chair or jumping off the top rope.

(I just realized I know entirely too much about wrestling. I thank my brother for that.)

Quite frankly, I hadn't even thought about nesting boxes yet.

Then along come to laying hens and I lazily thought "Gee I could maybe make a nesting box out of this old shelf, you know, temporarily.... and stuff." Then while I'm thinking about working on it, said hen is out the door at me with a look of "Oh MY GAWD! Where do I lay my EGG!"

It only took me like 45 min to figure out what her issue was.

(I never said I was GOOD at this chicken thing did I?)

I hurried up the box, put a board for them to jump on to get in, set it on 2 cinderblocks and then stood back to admire my handiwork. If you looked at it from the right, it kinda looked like a nesting box.

If you squinted.
And stood on your left foot.

20 minutes later, I was a proud owner of a new egg. Then 45 minutes later, I had 2 new eggs!

I decided right then and there, that a nesting box was a priority, and I had just the man that would do it.

No not my husband! Tanner.. my 15 year old! (Why yes, I do run a child prison labor camp, why do you ask?) It's kinda cool, that birth right. Yep, I gave life to my child - via natural birth - so therefore I'm pulling the "I gave you life" card.

I can see Tanner getting queesy thinking about the "natural childbirth" part of the equation.

Sorry Tanman.

See what he made me:


It's not done yet, there will actually be 7 holes when we get finished, but we had to do it in 2 sections to fit into the coop. (Yes I did help him, eventually.) Each box has a dishpan in it so that when it gets messy, we can just take out the box and hose it off. That's some thinkin' thar.

So it has been decided, that Tanner can continue to live here.
He better not cross me tho! Well, at least until he gets the nesting boxes done.

But wait, there's still the issue of the roosts right? Chickens need a place up kinda of high to sit at night so they can get a comfy night of sleep. I had 2 roosts up, but everyone seemed to be fighting over the same high roost, then one of the older chickens decided she was the roost police and so she would peck anyone that came within 4 feet of her.

So we have:
14 chickens in 4 linear feet and then a 2 foot gap, a big fat mean chicken, and 2 more feet of space.

I didn't like that math.

So smart as a whip me, decided to move the other roost up so they were all even, less fighting. I r smartz rights?


Now they have to jump really high to get to the roost. argh.

Did I mention I am apparently not very good at this?
Oh wait, I did.

In the meantime, chickens have taken up roost in more crazy areas of the coop.. the higher the better. This young miss has decided that the space above doorway is quite possibly the best thing EVER.


It's kinda scary walking under here. I have blackbird flashbacks. Worse yet, the idea of chicken poop in my hair.

(oops! I think I just saw my mother in law get queesy.)


Nonetheless, she is a friendly little cuss. She wanted to say g'nite.

And promised to condition my hair tomorrow instead.


LisaDay said...

Glad to hear everyone is happy and her son can stay!

Good luck with the poop in your hair.


gowestferalwoman said...

lol that set up is perfect! Good job Tanner!

We used wood closet rods and made roosts for our girls..

but alas, when they got older, they went for a truck ride and came back home in tiny little body bags...

Yes, we were chicken cannibals, forgive us! we didnt know!!!

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