After a busy work weekend, I woke up this morning feeling energized and motivated. I had spent my whole weekend thinking about implementing the deep litter method for our farmies after reading this article from Fresh Eggs Daily last week. Felt extremely motivated to get it done and over with!
Prior to my work weekend starting, we headed to our local feed store and picked up some pine shavings – this was the only thing that we didn’t already have to start implementing our new litter method.
This morning, after morning feedings – and a cup of coffee for me – the coop got a good scraping out by the hubby – truly back-breaking work! When my husband built our mobile chicken coop this past winter, he made the majority of the floor from a wire mesh, allowing droppings and such to fall onto the pasture below. As we moved the coop every other day or so, the pasture was able to get equally fertilized from the chickens all the way around. However, with colder nights creeping in on us, we decided it would be best to cover up the open floor to minimize the draft on the ladies (+ one rooster). He cleaned the coop completely out, then cut a piece of scrap plywood to fit the opening, and popped it into place. I then spread a six-inch layer of pine shavings across the floor, topped by a thin layer of hay. I had previously had the chicken feeder on the floor of the coop, but with all of the new fluff out there, it now needed to be suspended from the rafters of the coop. My plan is to turn the bedding daily to encourage decomposing of the bedding on the underside, adding fresh hay on top as needed.
The girls were quite curious of the new, fluffy digs.
But I was the one with the puffed up chest, beaming with pride at how beautiful the coop looked. 🙂 I then proceeded to all the other bedding areas (goats and sheep) and did the same. Damn. On a roll, was I. The funniest thing was seeing the goats upturning everything and munching on the hay, little bits of it all stuck on their heads.
As if I wasn’t excited enough, I headed back to the house, only to find that my husband had another update up his sleeve…
New nest boxes!
We had already gone through two rounds of nest boxes. Round one was with the building of the coop. We used milk crates for nest boxes – which the ladies proceeded to roost on – and fill with poop. Always fun to deal with. Round two was a couple months ago – I had found a cool idea on Pinterest where they used 5 gallon buckets on their sides for nest boxes. My dear husband surprised me by setting it all up while I was at work one day! Just a side note – this did not work. The ladies wouldn’t nest in them (I think maybe too slippery?), and all of them insisted in nesting in the two end spots in the coop – on top of each other. Which means that at any given time, there could be 3 hens on top of each other trying to nest in the same spot. So you can see my problem – and theirs.
So here we are with round three! I do feel that this is the best yet! Thankfully, my husband is handy – so he was able to whip them right up with scrap wood we already had on hand. These wood boxes were built with sloped roofs – in hope that no roosting will occur on the boxes.
All in all, I felt remarkably accomplished today – and all was done before picking up my daughter from her half-day at school. Not too shabby, eh?
This post can also be found on the Homestead Barn Hop!