One thing about rescuing chickens they do not always have the base of training your own home-raised chickens do.
Last night when it was time for the chickens to go into the coop for the night, Momma Hen apparently could not figure out how to get herself and her babies into the coop. She was hunkered down in the corner of the pen, on the ground, with her babies under her like she intended sleeping there.
Our chicken coop with open peak roof for ventilation.
Even with food I could not coax her into the coop and it dawned on me that her former coop was right on the ground. It was getting dark and I saw no other alternative but to get out the fishing net. Being netted does not hurt a chicken but it is rather a traumatic event for them. While Gene netted Momma Hen I scooped up the five babies and we secured them into the coop. I hated to do this but saw no good alternative as she needed to be safe.
Momma Hen, has been named “Clover” by our granddaughter.
After dark we check on her one more time and she was sound asleep in the corner of the coop between the cardboard box and the door on the sand litter. I hoped she would sleep in the box for a bit of warmth. Another lesson was needed.
We insulated and closed off the ventilation of the roof for winter.
Around 8:30a.m. The next morning I decided to open up the shutters that cover the window screening to see the daylight. When I peeked through the window she and the babies were in the box – lesson one was learned.
I also opened the coop door as I wanted her to learn to come down the gangplank as a way of getting in and out of the coop. I tried chick-chickening her out of the coop with more food her but there was no way she was going to be tricked. So I left her and walked back to the house. A few minutes later she and her babies were on the ground and the food tray was empty. Success – Lesson Two!
Cold Weather is Coming:
It’s been 50 degrees at night but a freeze is being predicted as well as rain. So today’s big project was to winterize the coop. This included making trim pieces framing to hold in the winter covering and add hook and eyes to hold up the window shutter when I want to open them up.
The unpainted thin wood strip acts like the frame on a door to hold the winter peak cover.
The peaked roof of our coop is built with open gables so that in the summer there is ample ventilation.
The two pieces of the peak cover primed with BIM.
Our plan is to add 2”of pink foam insulation doubled to make it 4” of insulation. Today we cut a piece plywood into triangles to cover the ventilation openings for winter warmth. Gene did the construction and I did the painting.
We need this done by the freeze tomorrow.
Small House Homestead, Donna