Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 7 - 9/24/12


I'm very pleased with how the flock is doing so far.  I see chickens that are more relaxed and starting to show better action and movement of their bodies.  More normal behavior going on... dusting, grooming, foraging and flocking well.  They even come towards me a little when I approach, just like old times.  We're getting there.... it will just take time.

I added an extra roosting bar today to give more space for the evening shuffle.  Tomorrow I will add the first sheet of wintertime plastic on the coop to shield the roosting areas from the night breezes as we are having night temps into the low 40s lately.  Feels good to me and I'm sure it feels good to the chickens as well. 

They cleaned up all their fermented feed tonight and even consumed a whole suet cake.... their appetites are markedly improved.  The smell in the coop has lessened; the feces are already having less smell and more of a healthy appearance than when they first arrived.

Overall, I'm very pleased at the difference a few short days has wrought in this flock.  We are having our first fire in the wood stove tonight and will be using those ashes for another dousing of the birds with remaining lice and mites on their skin.  I'll do a more thorough job this time and really work it into and under their thickest feathers.

Saw an episode of Dr. Pol the other day in which he stated that chickens act sedated when turned on their backs and it makes it easier to work on them.  Well... it works for some of the birds and definitely makes it easier to work on all the birds, but Dr. Pol would be quite surprised about the pep and fight these chickens have.  It takes two of us to restrain them for any treatment.  I don't mind...this tells me that they are feeling stronger. 

I sat out in the sun today and watched them being chickens.  There is just something in me that goes out to these trusty old birds and my heart smiles to see them stretched out in the sun just soaking it all in. 
You can see why this coop is just a little more....shall we say "breezy"? ... than most:

Will be cozy by the time it really gets cold.  Just taking it slow and adding some weatherization a little at a time. 

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 8 - 9/25/12


  1. What is that you are using as nesting boxes?

    1. Pamela,
      I *believe* Bee uses those medium size Rubbermaid containers, laid sideways with a hole cut in the bottom for birds to enter. I say I *believe* because I am working off memory and I am not 100% positive. She has them attached to the frame of her hoop coop. Very creative, isn't it?



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