Saturday, April 17, 2010

Contrary Chickens


Chickens can be very contrary creatures. A while back, Steve realized that he had reached the point where he needed more nesting boxes in the coop. The idea here is that the chickens will lay the eggs in the nesting boxes and not all over the coop (and farm if we're unlucky). So, we're discussing ideas, and I happen to see a blue bin that we've not used in a while. You know the ones. You likely have at least one of them storing your Christmas decorations in the off season. The big inexpensive ones you can purchase at most department stores, and I suggest that he use that. You have to understand that we are building up at this point. The nesting boxes are actually in the back room of the coop, and the chickens have access through the interior wall. Steve built the first set from scrap lumber, but we are fresh out of scrap lumber. So, we used other scrap material for this set. The dog-food container that started life in the woodshed across the creek and tempted the racoons (details can be found here - scroll down to about the 6th photo on the right) is one. An old cooler that is really not fit to be called a cooler any longer is another, and that blue bin makes 2 more. So we now have a total of 7 nest boxes in the coop. You'd think the chickens would want to check out their new digs, but, chickens are rather contrary creatures that really do not like change. They first ignored the new boxes, and layed their eggs on the floor of the coop when they couldn't get into a box. Then, they apparently decided to check them out, but they were unhappy with the fact that they were intended to house eggs and tossed out the plastic egg that is supposed to show them what to do there. For a while, they were making nests and teasing us, but not laying. Apparently the "new" boxes have now been in place long enough to be accepted. Sarah found eggs in all of them last week. It only took about two months. Chickens really really hate change. We do, however, still have one holdout. I found 4 eggs in the woodshed this morning. I guess she is not a fan of recycling. The cure for this is to lock the chickens in the coop for a few days so they get used to laying where they should, but I really don't like to do that. I miss my bug control. Maybe it's just as easy to go check the woodshed every day....