Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chickens Get Used to Winter

The girls have been surprisingly busy, working hard producing eggs, despite the cold weather.  They are producing anywhere from 12-16 eggs/day and I am selling them at work.  Typically 7 dozen/week.  Not looking to make a profit but simply break even.  Chicken feed gets increasingly more expensive.

Here I get ready to clean the coop.  Since the chickens don't spend as much time outside during the cold months (even given the choice when it isn't terribly cold they opt to stay indoors) it gets messy in the coop because chickens produce a lot of manure!  It gets stinky and I have to clean it every few weeks.  i use the respirator to prevent myself from breathing all the dusty allergens and the ammonia can also be strong.  This is never a problem in the summer.  Yes, I know.  I look hot!  "Luke, I am your father-hooorrrhhh, hoooorrhhhh"

This is what I remove from the coop every few weeks: straw coated in chicken manure, mixed with stones that I used for substrate in the coop.  I shit you not (pun intended) this pile weighed at least 500 pounds!  I want our chickens to be happy.  the stall next to their coop was available so last weekend my Dad and i expanded the coop from ~100 sq feet to a total of ~ 244 sq ft.  My friend Carole joked that these are truly free range chickens.  Free range is no cages so they have always been now they have a lot of room.  More than some apartments in NYC I joked.

These are our 2 chickens that are buddies.  In the summer they were getting picked on and lived together.  Now in the winter the other chickens are more tolerant but they still hang together.  Here I caught "Sunbutter" sitting on top of "Roadrunner Boese" in a nest box.  So sweet.

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