Thawing Out

January 11th, 2010 .

The temperatures are getting warmer again now, and the drinker was not frozen over this morning. All of the snow has started to melt and I am hoping that this will be the end of the cold weather.

I haven’t minded dealing with the chickens in the winter, but this last few weeks has been difficult. I don’t mind coming back on my lunch hour to deal with them before it gets dark, and I can cope with the swamp at the bottom of the garden, but the water freezing up has not been pleasant to deal with. Having to defrost their water probably doubles the amount of time it takes to do chicken related chores, and my hands are so cold that they hurt after cleaning them out.

The other day when I came back to clean the chickens Victoria was still in the nest box laying. I cleaned out the coop, and then she was finished just as I was about to go in. I looked inside the nest box and there were 3 eggs – 2 of them were still nice and warm. I walked back to the house with an egg in each hand which was a lovely way to warm my fingers up!


December 16th, 2009 .

November has been the first period with a lot of rain since I created the enclosure down the end of the garden, and the ground is starting to get very muddy! There are 2 problems with this: The first problem is that the chickens love to walk in the mud and then walk all over the eggs, which means the eggs get very muddy. The second problem is that when I try to clean the coop out, I nearly fall over in the slippery mud.

The best way to solve both problems would probably be to put down a load of woodchip in the run, but that will have to wait until next year. For now I have added this lovely board walk so that I can get to the coop to clean them out without sliding around in the mud.

Check out my lovely board walk!

Check out my lovely board walk!

The other thing that I have done recently is invested in a basket for collecting eggs. This is a little thing that has made a big difference to my cleaning / egg collecting routine. Before I had to collect the eggs, climb back over the fence with them (hard when you have 6 eggs in your hands) and put them inside. I would then go back into their area and clean up. With my basket I can do it all in one go, and I don’t end up dropping the eggs in the mud!

This is such a time saver

This is such a time saver

Sold my first box of eggs

July 8th, 2009 .

Just a short post today – I have sold my first box of eggs for £1.20. Now I just need to sell another 500 boxes and then I will be in profit!

Another Egg in the Run

June 16th, 2009 .

Before work this morning I checked in the run for more eggs and another egg had been laid outside in the run. The egg was in a similar place to last time and was also cracked. I think whoever is laying there likes to lay on the wooden platform that I put in. I might have to have a move around in the run after work today and see if removing the platform will discourage them from laying there…

Egg Troubles

June 15th, 2009 .

Yesterday, when I opened the coop up to clean this is what I saw:

Soft Shelled Eggs

Soft Shelled Eggs

I had a few soft shelled eggs when the girls first started laying but I thought that was the end of it. Today when I managed to drag myself out of bed my girlfriend told me that there was an egg in the run. I managed to get it out of the run without letting the birds escape but it was already cracked. Then when I got home from work today there was only 1 egg in the nest box and that was cracked too! Today wasn’t a good day for eggs!

I have no idea why this egg was laid here...

I have no idea why this egg was laid here...

This egg was laid in the right place but has a thin shell and was cracked

This egg was laid in the right place but had a thin shell and was cracked

I am wondering if they have a calcium deficiency – I put some grit with oyster shell down in the run so hopefully that will do the trick. I’m not convinced though as they have had access to grit since I first got them.