Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Coop status and a question about chicken feed

When I got the chickens at 8 weeks old, they were still eating chick mash. The feed itself is quite small and almost powdery and there was a lot of waste as they flung it out of the feeder. They're now 10 weeks old and I've transitioned to grower crumble. Which is causing me some concern as they don't seem to be eating it. I mixed the mash and crumble together to start so that it wouldn't be a weird shock to suddenly change the form of their food (I figure I do this with the dog's food when I have to switch it, so it made sense to do it with the chickens too). But I haven't had to refill the feeder in a couple days and they act hungry. At first I figured, well, they'll eat when they're good and ready. And they're not starving - they have access to free range forage all day (greens, crickets, etc) plus I give them mash in a bowl outside the coop each morning - but it's not nearly as much as they were consuming when mash was all they had in the coop feeder (assuming they were actually eating that much and not just decorating the coop floor with it). 

So, any thoughts? I'm not looking to become a chicken chef (ha!) but I do want the darn things to be healthy.

We've been busily working on the coop my friend gave us. It's awesome!

Run roof already off 
Took just one day to get the run off and moved. We kept as much of it together as we could to make it easier to reassemble on our property. Then we spent another two days to take apart the coop and clean up the work site.
Got the compost too
We decided to take the coop apart rather than move it whole. The entire thing was screwed together (with many, many, many screws) so it wasn't too bad to disassemble and this way we could clean it thoroughly and make some changes to the layout.

Now we're rebuilding.

Running extension cords to the site
Figuring out the layout
Platform built and covered with flooring
I flipped the layout to get a southern exposure on the coop and put the run in the shade. We got the platform and three walls built and then had to put everything away while it rained. A lot. We'll get the walls raised and the roof on next then it's on to the run. I've sure the chickens will love having a new place to peck and explore and I'll love having them in a hardware cloth enclosed run. Cooper is doing significantly better leaving them alone, but it'll be a comfort to know there is no way she can dig her way into new pen (hooray for burying hardware cloth!).

1 comment:

  1. I placed a piece of free hog wire on the ground under the walls. It extends about a foot into the chicken yard and two feet to the outside of the fence. Then, I took garden pins, the kind to hold down weed barrier. I took the pins and pinned the dog wire to the ground just so I would not trip on it. Raccoons or dogs will not be smart enough to say, "Oh, I have to back up two feet and dig under this ground wire." Besides, they are not going to tunnel under the ground that far. It beats digging a trench to bury wire. It took all of 15 minutes to get it done. At least, your chickens are safe from digging predators. Raccoons will be able to break into the cover over the roof, even if it is wood.

    As for the food, I had to buy a hen after raccons destroyed the last of mine. She did not even pay attention to the oats or scraps for about four days. Now, oats are her favorite food.