Is completely exhausting..
I had no idea there were so many chores – enjoyable as they may be – involved in the owning of chickens.
Life has changed somewhat. My morning routine used to be – recliner with coffee – breakfast thingy – check messages. It is now outdoor coffee & breakfast thingy, check chickens.
It is then clean out the coop time. The girls like to poop. They especially like to poop while sleeping on their roost. There will generally be a line of poop that coincides with where their butts hang off the roost which needs to be scooped and sifted.
I was initially doing this with a rake and sort of similar to how to scoop out kitty litter but the other half came up with a much better idea. The floor is sand. He saw me doing my thing and said.. you need something like panning for gold. So he went inside and got one of our older colanders. We had 3 of them and two were recently brand new so the older one is now the poop sifter. It works a treat! The sand falls through and the poop stays in the colander which I then empty into my bucket.
Then I head off to the garden to grab a couple of leaves of spinach which I throw onto the freshly sivved sand and half a cup of free range scratch mix. The girls go a bit nutty at this point. They love the spinach but the chooky chocolate known as black sunflower seeds fights for their attention.
While the girls do this, I hunt through the sawdust in the laying boxes to look for any poop there may be in there. It isn’t as easy as sifting the sand so it takes a little longer. Plus I am keeping an eye on the girls to make sure they’re not thinking of using the hatch above the laying box as an escape route. Generally they are not – they are busy with the food.
If it is a sunny day and I don’t have to work, I might at this point put the girls into the cat carrier and take them over to the temporary free range hut for a bit of free ranging. I have to stay there with them to make sure no roaming cats appear – we have several that visit our yard from time to time – but that is no chore. I enjoy watching them scratch and dig and do what they do.
If I do have to work or they aren’t going to freerange because I am on painting run duty, I’ll make sure they have something interesting to keep them busy. They had a cauliflower for the first few days which they pecked into an alien landform. I baked some pumpkin for them. They’ll get some slices of apple when I’m setting up the meal worm farming tomorrow. There may be warm oatmeal. I didn’t like it, but that does not mean it should go to waste!
That is now the story of my mornings. As it is so long, I’ll keep the story of the afternoons and evenings for another post!
The girls as yet do not have names. I am waiting for inspiration to strike me. In the meantime I am calling them all chookadoos. Here they are free-ranging. First the Light Sussex with two of the English Game birds..
Next up, the 3 English Game girls.. Red Comb is at the back, and the two purple combs are in the front.
What’s that about a meal worm farm? I hesitate to mention it because I am pretty sure I won’t be the only one wanting to set one up.. ;) Have a read of this thread in particular the posts by Jocler and Glennie.
I’ve been feeding the girls meal worms a couple of times a day and they adore them. It creates quite a frenzy and the chooks are at their noisiest, trumpeting, bok boking and sharing the joy of eating the mealworms vocally with the other girls. I figure I should start farming them or else it is going to become an expensive habit.. ;)