Saturday, November 14, 2020

Fowl Deeds, Indeed!

 After a far-too-long hiatus (in my opinion, I have not asked the hens!) my young hens have begun to lay. They were all hen-hatched here except for 6, supplied by the Pajamas, Books and Chickens flock and one female bantam hen from my friend Yolanda. That flighty gray bantam was the only hen of the 6 she shared to help keep my first, single hatchling company. The 5 roosters now reside in the freezer, stand-ins for "cornish game hens" for future meals. We call these small, unexpected offerings Pullet-surprises ... the cognate of which I will never receive if I keep writing run-on sentences like I am inclined to do, no? LOL 

I am hoping that they will be happier in their new coop. Their old housing was a pallet and tarp construction which held up well for several years but was, among other things, hard to clean out and even harder for my 6' tall partner to deal with. You see, at its best, it was the height of a pallet and two pallets by two pallets in size. This aging camper trailer which was a gift from a friend, is just barely 6' tall, but even with the extra stuff on the floor to help keep the birds warm and absorb their droppings, he only has to duck his head, not crawl on hands and knees when searching for eggs.

In their new digs, the fowl have three layers of roosts and as you can see, they seem to want to go high. They have repurposed kitty litter packaging for nest boxes (photo above), which they have yet to use and the plywood and cement blocks at the back of the camper, when open, are the chicken door. 

I had everyone shut in the camper while I repaired and moved fence panel sections for their yard, and I can report they are VERY happy to be able to go back outside now. The ducks, as ducks are inclined to do, prefer to stay outside, even in most winter weather.