I have had these painted hardiplank pieces collecting dust all on my deck for the last month, and have frankly been far too
lazy busy to complete the project of the hen house. But I had a few free hours on Saturday afternoon and decided to just buckle down and get it done. It really didn’t take much effort, and I wanted to have them ready to go before the weather started getting chilly. I still haven’t completed my poop hammock, so that is definitely on the list. I got started on a proof of concept for it using old feed sacks held together with staples as I can’t commit to having the sewing machine out on table until I am sure that this is going to be a worthwhile time sink. If this setup doesn’t work out very well, I will have to back up and either move to a hinged and rhino-liner coated piece of plywood that will collect poop and can then be scraped off, or something else that will be effective at keeping drafts off their toes and fluffy little butts, but also be removable so I can get in there and clean. Either way, we are making progress. I moved the temporary nesting box to another wall of the enclosure. I am in the planning stages of a nest box that is accessible from the exterior of the coop, and needed the area clear so that I could stare and obsess over how to make the jigsaw of a nesting box that I’m planning go together.
I have also tried numerous treats for the 3 new hens, and they’ve poo-pooed them! My first girls went apeshit for black oil sunflower seeds. These ones couldn’t care less about their existence, even going so far as to pick at them when I toss them into the run, and then spit them back out! I tried cornflakes (don’t judge, I had them in the pantry) and after reading that chickens like cat food, I grabbed a little of Perry’s food and tried that. They weren’t interested in any of those options! So I bought a tiny amount of cracked corn from the bulk bin at our local Grange store and prepared myself for disappointment. But there was extreme success! They really like it! Now to get more!
Now we have been told that the Red Sexlink is about a year old, and I think that the Ameraucana mix was supposed to be less than 6 months old, and the Langshan is also young. When you stress chickens at all, it is pretty common for them to stop laying for a while until they acclimate to the new change (in this case, a new yard, new flock dynamic, and new dogs that are drooling at them through the fence. I have been expectantly going out 1-2x daily and checking the nest box (doghouse) for eggs and have had no success! Well I went out to bring the girls some kitchen scraps last night and defeatedly decided to peek inside. And what did I find? My very own egg! Now it’s not brown, so it didn’t come out of the Red Sexlink, and the Langshan (RaptorChicken) should be laying pinkish tinted brown eggs, so it didn’t come from her. I had been hopeful that the Ameraucana mix would be a blue or green layer, but we got a greyish putty colored egg. Not particularly exciting, but it tasted damn good!