Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 29 - 10/18/12


Funny report on the Gnarly Bunch and the Extra Rooster:  I got to see the first encounter this morning between Ol' Tobe and Extra Roo and it was quite comical.  As Toby has no spurs, no roosters were injured in the filming of this movie.  It was a complicated dance in the coop floor that sent hens scattering for the great outdoors and left me the sole witness to the stitching of the britches on the new guy. 

A brief time of hopping and posturing, followed by Toby grabbing the upstart by the neck and throwing him like a WWF wrestler across the coop floor.  Extra Roo decided to find the door or make one all by himself at that point and, after pinging off the walls a bit, found freedom and daylight....lots of it.  He pouted over by the brush pile for awhile and crowed his "you crusty old fart!!!!"  comeback to Toby from a safe distance. 

A little while later, ER decides to sneak in and grab a hen by the head...through the mesh of the coop.  Now, picture this...hen inside the coop, being held by the head by a rooster outside the coop.  Hen is screaming and Toby comes thundering across the yard to save his damsel in distress!  Oh, how I love to watch the social interactions in a flock...such entertainment!

Toby kicks the ER and then the big dog steps in....Jake breaks up any further fighting and stands between the two roosters.  Later we see the same action as the ER approaches the flock and Toby gets ready to rumble, Jake deliberately gets up from his usual resting spot and intervenes.  Jake doesn't like flock discord any more than do I, so he is just keeping the peace.  He's such a great dog!!! 

Poor ER doesn't know whether he is coming or going and is now standing lonely outside the coop.  Life is all about learning and adapting, isn't it? 
Put some hay along the walls of the coop today as the final touches to winterization.  With being able to open the side flaps for ventilation on warm days, it was just enough insulation at floor level to keep the coop cozy but not stuffy.  The coop has many points of ventilation, so the hay shouldn't impede air flow.  If I find it does, it's the work of seconds to remove a bale for more air.  This, however, makes the floor space less, though they can still get up on hay bales for the same area.  I've never had a coop this small in my life, so this is a new experience for me. 

I think I will be placing a nipple waterer in the coop even if it is winter and seeing how it all turns out.  I'll insulated it with bubble wrap and see if it will stay thawed enough for good water flow.  The nipple waterer clears up floor space and keeps the hay and bedding from dropping into the water when they all do the BOSS shuffle in there.  I've currently got it up on a pedestal but it won't be effective. 

I am going one step further and getting a hard sided 1 gal. bucket from the hardware and placing poultry nipples in the bottom and using this watering system until it is no longer feasible, then I will place THAT bucket down into my heated dog bowl.  The nipples don't stick out much and will not hinder the placement of the bucket and come spring I just use the same bucket for warm weather watering. 

I use the hard sided bucket instead of the more flexible bucket as I have found that hanging the flexible sided buckets for the nipple watering causes the sides to buckle a little and the handles on those buckets don't hold up well under the weight of that hanging it all causes some kind of vacuum action that causes the soft sided buckets fitted with the nipples to leak whereas the same nipples mounted into a hard sided bucket do not normally leak. 

I wrapped the FF bucket in hay, which should keep the feed from freezing but I'll have to wait and see. 

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 30 - 10/19/12 One Month


  1. Bee, are you saying in regard to the waterer - that when you place the 1 gal. bucket in the heated dog water dish, the nipples would kind of be pressed in against the bowl and the chickens would just drink the water that leaks out? I have a cookie tin type waterer now and am not too happy with it. I have a large shallow metal bowl that sits on top of the tin. The chickens make a real mess with the water, as they are always scratching in the bedding when they're in the coop and it wreaks havoc with the water.



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