Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cool'n Under the Porch

The hens have found a nice cool spot under the porch on the east side of the house. Pretty smart chickens. I wondered where they went off to during the hot part of the day. I spotted the girls leaving their cool spot this evening when I went to make another check for eggs. I bet there are lots of eggs under the house. If so, there must be critters coming around for eggs.
Today I worked in the chicken coop and pen. These are the tall nest boxes. This used to be a bookcase that I found at a flea market. I added the roosts and boards to hold in the straw. Since I would like the hens to lay their eggs in a nest instead of in the dirt I am going to turn this around against the roost area and hope they will lay eggs in a nest.
I love power tools! I took the roosts off and cut away
the chicken wire over the bottom open area
so the hens will have access to the nests.
Then I cut an opening so the hen can get in the bottom nest. Hopefully, the hens will not stop and lay their eggs in the dirt. I spent a long time with a pitchfork and shovel getting chicken poo and dirt cleaned away from under the roosts. And I took the branches away. They didn't work to stop the hens from laying their eggs in the dirt. I hope the girls will be lured into the nests by the comfy straw. Maybe?
Here it is turned facing the roosts. Tomorrow I need to make an opening of some kind so I can reach in the nests and search for eggs. And figure out something to block the light from leaking through that opening. One reason I think the hens are laying their eggs back there in the dirt under the roosts is because it is dark. Well, it was dark. And it is cool back there too. So, I need to block the light. Or not. If the light is on the dirt, that should be a good thing. I need to make the nests dark. Duh.

I hope I can come up with some great ideas tomorrow. Maybe I will even turn the gate in the pen around. Maybe? If I can figure out how I can remove the hooks that the gate hangs on. I'll need to find a really big pliers or wrench or something like that. I would like to be able to get the wheelbarrow in the pen to remove the old chicken stuff and to bring in some new dirt to make a new clean surface for the hens to scratch around on. Taking the chicken poo and dirt out a bucket full at a time is great exercise, but boring. I would much rather use the wheelbarrow.

[9 eggs today]


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