Spring Cleaning!

Today John mucked out the coop. We do the deep litter method of chicken keeping. That means that – typically – once or twice a year it will be mucked out and started all over again with fresh pine shavings. Throughout the course of the year additional fresh pine shavings are added to the top, when things need “freshened up” so to speak.

Aside from finding a WHOLE BUNCH of chicken poo, John also found 10 – yes, I said TEN – eggs – all of varying age. Elijah, my inquisitive nephew, decided to squeeze one of the eggs to see what would happen! Yeah – rotten egg is not such a pleasant experience when you end up wearing it.

See that white egg there behind John?

This Welsummer was pretty put out with John as he worked. She’d come in – squak at him – supervise his work for a while, leave for a while, then come back and repeat!

BB – along with all of the other girls – was trying to figure out what the heck we were doing in her coop!

You see – we do have a plan! (Of course!) John reattached the door that was taken off last fall – so that we can divide the coop once again. The big girls will sleep on the side that the nest boxes are on…

and the chicks that we’ll be getting this spring will hang out on the other side of the coop!
We are looking at adding chicks from the following breeds this year:
Cuckoo Maran
Ameracauna
Sussex
Minorca
Delaware
Barnevelder
Andalusian

I don’t know which of these we’ll actually be able to get our hands on – but I’ve started the process of seeking them out.

Tonight, the big girls were a little confused about all that was going on tonight when they were going to bed at first – but eventually settled down for the night just as they always do.

On a sad note. Angel, our California White with the prolapsed vent, has not responded to therapy. Even worse, her prolapsed vent seems to have gone necrotic – I believe she’s been pecking HERSELF. We had her in isolation – away from the other girls – so that they would not harm her – but apparently that wasn’t good enough. So we’ve decided to cull her from the flock. It seems the only humane thing to do.
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7 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning!

  1. Great minds think alike, it seems. We have been doing the deep itter method, too, for the past 3 months.
    Mainly because my hubby and kids hold the line at mucking the coop.

    Today I feel like I am strong enough and can finally get out there and get it scraped clean. I was shocked the other day seeing how high the poo had grown!

    It will be so wonderful to have fresh shavings. It feels like a ne coop, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

    So very sorry about the loss of your Angel. I know how awful it feels. We just lost a Brown Leghorn last week. I cried for days and was so distraught. We’ve had our chickens for almost 2 years and this was our first dead chicken. 😦

    But something to look forward to: New Chicks!!!

    You will love your Speckled Sussex.They are my favorite breed because of their curious and gentle nature and there beautiful speckles, too.

    I hope you are able to get some cukoo marans, too. They lay those rich chocolate brown eggs, don’t they? I would love to get some, too, someday.

    Have a beautiful weekend,
    Lisa

  2. Thanks Danni,

    It’s one thing to lose one to an accident or illness or something, but to choose to cull one – well, it takes a whole different emotional toll!

  3. Lisa,

    I’ve got to be honest – I’m loving the deep litter way of life. It is a delicate balance and you have to pay attention – but we made it 9 months before mucking out. Now all of that composted stuff is on the new garden plot – getting ready to get tilled in.

    And – yes – on the musings on the leghorns! As I’ve been looking at breeds for new chicks, I’m very much keeping those thoughts in mind! We love our one Cuckoo Maran (BB) – her eggs are gorgeous! Her temperment is fabulous, too.

    We may have chicks come home as soon as Tuesday! I’ll be sure to post!

    Glad you’re healing up!

  4. Pingback: Spring Cleaning, 2011 « Known By Name

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