Yeah, yeah, yeah...it's been awhile since I've updated the blog. Not much happens in the chicken world from day to day that warrants a post.
All the girls are laying now. A 'slow' day is eight eggs. An average day is ten-eleven eggs. Record day so far has been fourteen. I've gotten that a few times. I'm waiting for my first 18 egg day (it would have been 19 until recently), but the girls can't seem to all sync up their productivity yet.
Red is still living in the basement. He's pretty miserable down there. Chickens are meant to be social animals (or so I'm told), so he's not digging his bachelor pad. He's been molting (i.e. losing feathers) and his once proud tail feathers are frayed.
One of the many updates I promised back in April that I never got around to is about the three new chickens I was getting. I picked up three straight run (i.e. non-sexed) Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. Guess how many ended up being roosters? No, not all of them. Two. And guess what happens to boy chickens at five months old? Yep, they start sexing up the ladies. Oh, and they start crowing.
For now, only one of the two 'upstairs' boys is making noise. Unlike Red, he is not as loud nor does he crow as long (Red could go for hours in the morning; new boy only for 10 minutes at a couple of different times and i've only heard him crow later than 7am once.)
Depending on his behavior, Red may be getting a room mate soon. Or they may all end up at freezer camp. I'm not sure yet.
Light and Winterizing the Coop
It's October, and that mean crap weather coming soon. I added an additional light source to the coop already so the chickens don't slow down production. The light is on in the morning from 5 - 7 then again from 6-8 at night. It's weird in that the chickens are 'up', but don't really want to be outside until there is natural light.
For winterizing, I do have a heated waterer, but shouldn't need to plug that in for a few week yet (I hope). The coop walls were insulated when it was built, but the roof wasn't, and there is open air up there. My initial intent was to leave the eaves open, but to insulate the roof, so there isn't a build up of condensation in the coop. Damp coop leads to frostbite in the winter. That's still the plan, but I haven't gotten around to execution yet. Soon.
Oh the nexting box. I'm about as far from handy with tools as you can get. The nesting boxes I built looked great, but they fell apart when it got hot. I used particle board and glue to build it. Not the smartest thing, but live and learn.
First, the interior walls fell apart. Great! One big box that multiple chickens can use at the same time. That lasted maybe a couple of weeks. Then the whole thing fell down. Hmmm...all that weight, hot weather, glue, and no support. Wonder what could possibly happen? Luckily, no chickens or eggs were harmed due to my negligence.
I've been meaning to rebuild them, but the chickens seem content laying on the floor in two 'community' nests - one under the nesting box bottom (which is still attached to the wall) behind the feed, the other behind the nesting box boards that collapsed. Apparently, as long as they feel safe, the chickens will lay where ever. I'm good with that solution.
So now the chickens just use the bottom board as a night time roosting spot. I'm good with that. Easy clean up.