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

Dandelions and Rain

April 10th, 2009 .

One of the things I have enjoyed over the past couple of days is putting things in the chicken run and seeing how they react to them – today I tried putting in some massive dandelions and it was pretty amusing.  Two of my girls reacted as expected pecking little bits of dandelion off and eating them but the ginger one was hilarious.  She kept walking over to a big dandelion and grabbing it in her beak, then flipping it up in the air and onto her back.  She would then look around as if she didn’t know where it was, causing it to to drop back off onto the floor.  Then she would toss it up onto her back again…

I also put some tomatoes in the run today – one whole and one in pieces.  Turns out chickens don’t like tomato!  They seem to like sweetcorn, most weeds and spiders – I put a huge spider in the run the other day and the grey one instantly killed it and eat it.  Out of all the things I have put in so far the thing that they seem to enjoy the most is wild bird seed.  Every now and then I chuck a handful in and they run around like crazy and eat it in no time.  The white one and the ginger one just eat the seeds that land in front of them, but the grey one runs back and forth trying to steal seed off of the others.  The funny thing is that she spends so long trying to stop the others eating that they eat most of it and she ends up with hardly any!

Today was the first bit of rain I’ve had since I got the chickens.  They spent most of the time under the coop whilst it was raining (as expected) but when the rain had finished I looked in the garden and they were acting kind of weird – standing up tall and pecking at the wire mesh around the run.  I went outside to investigate and it turns out they were drinking the water droplets that had collected on the wire mesh.  I would have thought it was easier to drink out of the drinker that I put in there but then I’m not a chicken!