We’re learning some chicken tricks. You have to combat their natural tendency to scratch their bedding up into their food and water so that you frequently have to have to empty and refill the containers. I tried propping the waterer up on various pie pans and plastic tubs. They would fly to the top and knock it over and when I went to check on them, the water was empty and they were parched. When I cleaned it out and gave it back to them there was a mad rush to the water trough. Serves them right for being less than bright, you’d think, but I don’t want them to die from stupidity.
My husband has solved the water issue by raising the waterer up onto a 4-inch block of wood with screws to hold it in place. The wood shavings are no longer filling their water – hip, hip, hooray!
I think they are ready to move out to the new chicken coop. It is beautiful, by the way! We still can’t put them out there until we have finished fencing in the run so they can leave the coop and scratch around. Yesterday, we dug a trench around the perimeter to bury the fence so that coyotes (and the dogs) cannot figure out how to dig their way in. We tried using the tractor to dig it out for us, but all it could do was scrape the sod off and loosen the soil. It came down to old-fashioned manual labor, but my husband and I worked together digging ditches and today we should be able to get started on the fence.
We love our little barn and can’t do a sloppy job of this, so we painted all the boards that will be used to fasten the fence so that it will all blend into the barn posts. We have had some debate about how to put it together, but my husband is the construction manager so in the end we’ll use his design.
I have to do some more research to make sure I understand how to take care of them for the long haul. I am working with the local high school to find an FFA student to come and take care of them while we are away on vacation for a while. It should be a simple daily job but I really don’t know what it will entail yet, myself. I have a lot to do to get this set up and ready for production (as we’d say in IT) but I work best under a deadline.