Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Coop Cleaning

The coop and pen were covered with cobwebs. There were sticks and some leaves cluttering up the top of the pen laying on the anchor fencing. Love that fence. It keeps the bears and raccoons out.

Cobwebs are a good thing to have in the coop because they catch all kinds of bugs we really don't want around. The spiders will soon be back building new webs. I don't use any chemicals that might kill the spiders.

I like to wait until there are hot summer days to dry out the coop and pen because the way I get rid of the cobwebs and leaves on the anchor fencing is to use the hose and shoot them off with water. It is so hot out that it doesn't take very long at all for everything to dry out.

Pen (outside) - Next I raked out the pen and used the wheel barrow to bring in loads of dirt I dug up from under the oak trees. The chickens like to have new dirt in the pen to scratch around. There were a few hens checking for edibles when I was moving and leveling the dirt.

The chickens free range the property most of the day, but sometimes we need to keep them in the pen if there are predators around. Or if we leave the property the chickens are safer lock up.

Coop (inside) - Inside the coop where it stays dry all year, I have read that some people put down a deep layer of pine shavings (add to it as needed) and only change it out once or twice a year. The chickens scratch through the shaving and bury their droppings. It is called the Deep Litter Method here.

I guess I am kind of doing that... my method is to put layers of pine shavings and dirt over the chicken poo under the roosts. The coop floor is dirt with a layer of tin. I dug down about a foot and put down some old corrugated panels to slow down any critter that might try to dig their way inside. Then I filled it up with dirt. The light stuff in the photo is pine shavings.

Morgan would like to get in the pen with the chickens and chow down on the chicken feed.

(July 25, 2009)

[7 eggs today]



Marie Anne said...

I'm halfway cleaning out my coop as I do some fixing. I used a cheap grade OSB to build it, and it's falling apart.

Spending as much on lumber to fix it as I would a new coop probably, but it needs to be done now while weather is good.

lisa said...

We use pine shavings but I am actually thinking of cleaning more than just once or twice a year. but we shall see.

diane said...

Morgan probably thinks she is a hen. I bet the stuff out of the coop makes good garden compost.

Melodie said...

I have a good supply of cobwebs in my coop too!

sophie said...

Now know better...playing is just a ploy to get in there! Not cool!

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

My girls LOVE IT when I clean their pen! I love a clean pen too!

Anonymous said...

That is a lot of work, but I'm sure the ladies appreciate it.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Interesting about the cob-webs Callie! I think that's a good reason to leave them around my house too! :-))

Little Messy Missy said...

Cleaned out mine about 3 weeks ago. Looin' good!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Sounds like the chickens like how ever you do it. he he Morgan likes a few treats..
Oh Mom says the Red's can read lips.. he he

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

John Gray said...

callie do you have the dreaded red mite over there???

JoyceAnn said...

The coop looks good Callie , I need to clean my girls coop too. Hope to get to it this week sometime.
The eggshell candle looks cute.

~ Be Blessed ~

Nancy K. said...

What is it with dogs and chicken feed?
I have to use a calf panel to keep the dogs out of the chicken barn yet let the chickens out to free range. The dogs don't bother the chickens at all ~ they just want their feed!