Monday, June 30, 2014

Just over a Year of Chicken Raising

It's been just over a year since we brought home these cute and fluffy little chicks.

Now look at them!

All grown up and laying the most delicious eggs. 

I'm so proud!!

So far we've had one, Luna, who began to pluck the feathers of her coop mates.

 It seems to have been the result of frustration over being "cooped up" for so long due to the never ending winter. 

Once the weather improved and they were released to run free in the garden, the plucking of her coop mates came to a end. -whew-

Then this girl, Pookie, became broody, determined to sit on a little clutch of eggs, expecting to hatch herself some babies. 

Have you ever come face to face with a broody chicken? It's not pretty! Fluffed up to three times her actual size, she'd growl at any who dared approach her! Yes, growled! Not pretty at all! There were never going to be any baby chicks in need of defending. But try explaining the lack of a rooster, and therefore a lack of fertilized eggs, to a growling, broody chicken. She pretty much had every other chicken afraid to get anywhere near the nesting boxes. -BAH-

It took two days of being separated from the other chickens, far from the nesting boxes, for her to give up the fight and return to her happy, mild mannered self.

Otherwise, these girls have been easy to care for and lots of fun for the Family.

The biggest job so far has been the spring cleaning of the coop. 

Daily cleaning is quick and easy; scoop out the mess, wash and refill waterer, refill feeder. 15 minutes. Boom! Done! Easy peasy!

Every other week or so, mostly as needed, the coop gets a vinegar spritz and a scrubbing or a hose down, as well as a change of nesting box material. 30-45 minutes. Piece of cake!

Spring cleaning the coop is a different story. The coop was a mess after the long winter. -Ewwww-

While the coop was still scooped out daily, a good scrub down was simply impossible during the winter freeze.

So, the first warm, spring day, the sleeves were rolled up, more figuratively than actually, and we got to work.

The ramp and roosts were removed from the coop. The washed river sand in the coop house was also removed and disposed of.

Everything got a good hose down,

as well as a good scrub down with vinegar!

Once everything was nice and clean and smelling vinegary, new washed river sand was spread over the coop house floor and in the coop run.

It was a solid afternoon's worth of work, but doesn't that look nice!?

The girls were very happy!

I'm as excited about our little flock of chickens today as I was the day we brought them home.

A little flock is pretty easy to maintain, and I'm still absolutely giddy every time I collect a handful of fresh eggs!

One year later, I'd do it all again!


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