Sunday, February 11, 2018

Chicken Day

Right now we are in a little stretch of dry and mostly sunny weather.  After all the rain, it is wonderful.  The rain makes for mud, and despite people saying that chickens don't like to get their feet wet, the chickens don't really care. They will scratch around in some small patches of mud, and then don't wipe their feet at the door, and the coop gets to be a disaster far too quickly.  
Larry headed out with the car to get 10 bags of feed.  We buy 10 bags every time, sometimes more, because we get a slight discount when we buy at least 10.

Then in the afternoon I browsed Craigslist to find some hay and did find some cheaper stuff advertised as 'bedding hay' and Larry headed off to get 10 bales of that.  

We use it for bedding in the coops and nest boxes. The hay was just down the road from where we used to live when we first got married, so Larry got to talking with the hay guy, and then said he had a hard time getting away.

I was prepping some oranges for marmalade and was heading outside just as Larry got back.  I started cleaning out the coops, it went fairly well and I only had one wheelbarrow to dump from each of them. One of those wheelbarrows was as full as it possibly could be (Larry calls me 'one trip Karen').

Meanwhile Larry got the hay unloaded, two of the bales were a bit loose and decided to bust out of their strings in the unloading process.  The hay was nice and fine and was easy to spread in the coops.  Such a nice feeling to have the coops all clean and freshly bedded again.  The dry weather helps to keep them clean, and the days getting longer helps too.  The shorter the nights, they less time they spend roosting.

Sunset, the sun flashing out at the end of the day and catching the trees

And the next day was lovely.  We all thought so!

I like this photo

It kind of makes me think of this wonderful piece of artwork by Miriam Mas.
My sister is lucky enough to own the original.


  1. I love this post!! Nothing makes me happier than coming home with a load of fresh new hay. That looks like the inside of our chicken house, feeder and all, and I now see the light you use. We have one of those but is has the red bulb. Should I change it to a regular bulb? (You were telling me that hens would lay more with a light in the house). Your hens are so pretty and healthy looking. Wish we had the pretty land like yours to let the hens roam on. That is a beautiful picture of your hens, and does look a lot like the painting. Glad you've finally got some sunshine!

    1. Hi Henny,
      That light you can see is a heat lamp (red bulb), but we only use it when it gets really cold, quite a few degrees below freezing, so it is not on in that picture. The regular light is up above, not visible. Chickens like about 14 or so hours of daylight to lay well, so we have a timer on the light, and it comes on at 3:30-4am and goes off at daylight. We adjust it as the days lengthen and don't use it at all for 4 or 5 months when there is enough natural daylight. We used to give them the extra light in the evening, but after many years of doing that, have now changed to the morning. That way the eggs are mostly laid before the hens get to wander outside, so less chance of them getting their feet mucky and then stepping into every nest box trying to decide where to lay, and it makes for cleaner eggs. We collect them when we let the hens out in the morning, and then collect the rest later in the day. The hens also go in earlier to roost with no light on in the evening. We found that some of them used to hang around outside in the light coming through the door in the evening, until it was fully dark, and they made themselves targets for owls the odd time. Yes, we are loving the sunshine!

  2. Thank you! Oh yes, I can see now how the light added in the early morning would work best. Honestly Karen, you should write a handbook for chickens and dogs, and cats! I'm sure you have plenty of time to start writing a book. :) I appreciate the help!

  3. I really like the photo of your hens, in fact, I like it more than the painting. Your hens get the royal treatment!

  4. Love your photo of your chickens, it would be lovely as a painting:) Chickens are work...but the eggs so good. We are still enjoying the great nieces eggs from their chickens:)


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