Nothing gets done automatically in a chicken yard. Oh they talk about automatic waterers, and feeders, but they still need to be washed out and kept clean. Then the shavings under the roost, collect all the evenings droppings. If you don’t clean that frequently, it just gets layers upon layer of YUCK. I could just sprinkle some scratch feed down in the general area and let the girls bury it with their digging. That would just be temporarily effective, and have to be dealt with eventually. Maybe I’m just a neat freak and need the work out. Either way I usually clean it once a week. On the off days, I just rake some clean shavings over the droppings. They soak up any of the smelly stuff. Wed is usually the Chicken Yard day.
I do talk a lot about Chicken Poop. That sort of makes me laugh, because my husband calls me a (should I say it?) “shit manager”. He means it in the most complimentary way. When things go awry here, I can usually make the best of it and find a way to keep going in some form or fashion. I’m also good at pluming. When the sewer goes crazy, it’s me who rods out lines. I learned that while he worked his weird swing shifts at the Paper Mill. It seemed most stuff broke while he was gone and at night. It was not really unheard of to see me outside at midnight working on something. Like the year the pump lines froze in 11 degree temperatures. I’m outside with a blow dryer, fuzzy slippers and a house coat, coat and head muff.
He is more than willing to help and has taken share of the drama and broken stuff here. He does more than any man should have too. So, I am giving him credit for all of the good he does, trust me. I just fill in when he’s not home. Now, that he’s retired, he’s here a lot more.
Ah! Back to chickens… (sorry).
Yesterday was work in the Chicken yard day. As you may be able to guess. Normally I write about my experiences, day-to-day. Yesterday found me winterizing the coop. It has a lot of protection, so it’s not been a very big concern for me that they would get too cold. I’m in Florida, that’s not really a hard issue, most of the time. This year has been so mild, and it has felt more like Fall. I don’t know what’s up with that, but I’ll take it!
My winterizing consist of putting up corrugated panels against the chicken coops chain link walls. The girls, are in a dog proof 10×10, roofed, box with a dog proof door. The main concern for me is the wind. It can be very windy here. I don’t know why, for that situation either. We are on the Northeast coast of Florida and it just has weird weather. Today you are walking in Bermuda shorts and tomorrow you will have on blizzard gear.
It is January and the winters we have are worse in Jan., and Feb.. Windy and Cold. However, none of that has reared its ugly head yet. I just wanted to be ready, in case…
Thankfully, the chicken coop already had up two sides and the third side is blocked with another room, where they girls eat, protected from the wet and wind. I needed to put up cleaned panels on two walls. Then I needed to rake the whole pen area. That’s 50 feet long and about 20 feet wide. After that, haul out the poop and get in clean shavings.
In the middle of all this working, I stopped and thought, Why in the world I was having fun? This is a lot of work. Then I just shrugged it off and kept cleaning. I must just enjoy the chickens. Actually, I do. I go out there cleaning and forget worries. I call it my church. Unless I ask for help, most just don’t bug me out there.
Chickens are a lot of work, but they are worth every bit of it if you like them. People spend thousands on their pets every year. Well, I just spend thousands of hours with my chickens.