Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Chicken Composter, loud edition

Nobody home
So anyway, after pulling about 70 gallons of composted win out of the coop last weekend, and since the ladies need something to do since they are not laying eggs, I figured it was time to give them some more leaves and shredded paper and the like to compost.

So I grabbed about six trash cans full of leaves from beneath the Lovely and Gracious Rogue's oak wall out front; the kind of leaves that crunch and crumple and that kids love to destroy big piles of.  And I dumped them all in and spread them about, while the ladies clucked and fussed and hid in the nesting boxes. Then I headed up to the house for about 15 gallons of shredded paper I was going to add to the mix.

When I came back, there were no chickens in sight. And there is that moment of panic where you wonder if you left the door open and they all ran out and got eaten by coyotes, or you wonder if you accidentally buried them all alive. You know the feeling. It turns out that they were all roosted in the rafters.  I'm not sure if I freaked them out while adding the leaves, or if the leaves are too loud, or if by covering up all the crap and pin feathers they are used to walking on I made them feel not-at-home. But for the rest of Saturday they were content to sit 12' above their beautiful new floor, clucking quietly.

They have to come down eventually. All that yummy cracked corn* I gave them to make up for it isn't going to eat itself.

* They actually get a mix of lay rations, hen scratch, crushed oyster shell, and deer corn, as well as all of our kitchen scraps**.  My hens are spoiled brats.
** Except egg shells, which go in the trash.  I don't want them to acquire any bad eating habits, if you know what I mean.

1 comment:

  1. Hello El B.... My friends and I have ongoing discussions about whether the hens will "get" bad habits by eating egg shells. I say they won't get bad habits because nature imbues in them an inability to break shells that are intact. Hens peck at anything that looks like it might be a bug or a seed. Just loose stuff, not an egg. That's my premise, anyway.

    I appreciate your emails. Thank you.


    My grandma kept nesting boxes in the pen, with a hole just egg-size in the bottom of each box. The eggs would drop down to the fluff-pile of hay about 12" down below, in a box with a chicken-wire front.