Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spinach On The Porch

   Today the chickens enjoyed a bunch of spinach from the large bag of outdated greens that Tom picked up at the grocery store yesterday. By the time I got the camera ready for action the chickens had gobbled up most of the leaves. The brown plastic is covering wood for the wood stove.

   The hens and Morgan got to spend some time outside for half a day today. I spent my day thinking and planning what I'm going to change in the chicken coop when I finally get well enough to get out there and do something. At first I wanted to move the nest boxes around and put them against the wall and put up new roosts.

   Well, I finally decided I really didn't need to to all that. I was getting carried away. So, I calmed down and thought about how I could build partitions in the communal nest boxes and how I could build some frames to hold wood ashes, from the wood stove, inside the entrance to the nest area. I read about putting something for the hens to step in that would dry off their muddy feet as they are on the way to lay their eggs. Now I have some plans running around in my head. All subject to change.

   I did find a neat site here (A Dust Box For The Chicken House - w w w. The Modern Homestead . U S) with photos that show how to build a dust box for chickens. This is pretty fancy and may be beyond my capabilities, but I can make a good try and come up with something. I think the reason the dust boxes I made in the past didn't work was because I didn't make the sides high enough.

   So, here is a list of to-do's:
  1. Make partitions in the nest boxes.
  2. Make a dusting box.
  3. Make a frame by the entrance to hold wood ashes for the chickens to step in.
  4. Make the entrance smaller.

   Maybe I can at least get the tools and wood together tomorrow. Getting everything ready is half the battle. I've got the plans in my head, if I get the supplies and tools ready all I'll need is to get me out there on the ground.

  I did find this site here (http: //urban garden project .wordpress .com/ 2009/ 03/ 26/ 6 -uses-for -wood -ash/) that has lots of good ways to use wood ashes. We have just been dumping them out in the woods. I never knew there were so many uses.

   I have been searching around trying to find out if there are any negative side effect to letting the chickens dust with wood ashes and I haven't found any yet, but there may be some.  ??? 
(February 14, 2009)
Gee, I didn't even notice it was
Vatentine's Day last year what with all the snow.
I want more snow!

(5 eggs today)
One icky floor egg.



Lori Skoog said...

Thanks for finding my Journal.

We get all of our fresh eggs across the street from our farm. There is no comparison. We have never had our own chickens, so I can learn a lot from your blog.

Knatolee said...

Oooh, dustbox! I ended up being lazy and getting a large, flexible, rubber sort of feed bowl from the feed store, and I've put in clean wood ashes. I need to add some cleaned sand and some food-grade diatomaceous earth.

Your chickens are so beautiful!

lisa said...

That is so cool, I am glad I went and read that. We always have tons of ash from the stoves. We usually put it on the gardens. I will have to remember the one with the pond. Hope you get to feeling better.

Missy AKA Little Messy Missy said...

A great dusting box is an old drawer filled with play sand! They love it!

Gail said...

The name drew me over from Skoog's.

Chickens on the porch could be my sister's blog along with cats and dogs and a goat.

It is wonderful to find something that loves farm life.

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

What lucky chickens.. Dad wants to plant some spinach in the garden.
That is such a cool looking dust-box..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Leigh said...

I didn't realize wood ashes could be used for chicken dust baths. I've known to put them either in the compost or directly in the garden, but not some of those other ideas. I'd like to learn to use my hardwood ashes to make lye for soap. I read somewhere that if you can float an egg in it, then it's good strong lye.

I didn't realize you haven't been well. I sincerely hope you're on them end and back to the full swing of things soon.

JoyceAnn said...

Hi Callie ~ I was just reading Country Side magazine last week and someone said they put ashes under the straw in their nesting boxes. It said that ashes may prevent lice , I thought I might give it a try. Have you ever heard of that before ?