Monday, December 10, 2012

Putting The Chickens To Work

So far, we haven't had any luck with eggs.  The chickens have been here for more than two weeks and still no production.

As I said earlier this week, they're beginning to look tasty...

But since I'm a generous soul and willing to give them one more chance, I decided they needed to be put to work providing some use to the homestead.

My daughter and I created a make-shift chicken coop/run out of my bean and cucumber trellises.

I have an area I would like garden in the spring, but I can't seem to get all of the weeds out and I have had such a miserable time with bugs.  So, we placed a couple of hens in the run and let them do all the work of weeding and bug control.  They added a little of their own special fertilizer and were kind enough to till up the soil to mix it all in.  

The only difficult part is catching two or three chickens to move to this area and then catching them again to put them back in their pen for the night.  Easier said than done...

A few more days in this spot for the hens and then I will move the run to another section I would like worked on.  I'm hoping I will have a nice patch of fertile soil for spring planting!  

And yes, that is a cat rear-end up top there.  Nice.


Anonymous said...

Did you get your chickens newly hatched, or as pullets?

Sometimes, if you get them as older birds (adult birds), they go through a pile of stress - - new environment, new stuff to see and do..things like that.

This can delay egg laying significantly. In addition, if you very recently got them, like within the last two months, you are probably also dealing with a shorter photo period.

Chickens like lots of sun. The less sun, the fewer eggs. Make sure you have plenty of clean water for them, and also a decent layer feed if you don't let them range much. Leaving them some layer pellet out all the time allows them to vary the diet.

Happy chickens lay eggs. The more you do to make them happy, the sooner you will see production. If you have adult birds, you may be experiencing a molt - - or the precursor to molting, where the birds won't lay anything, and you see a few extra feathers in the coop.

dianna marsolek said...

just through a tarp over one end and leave them in there thats how i do it i put 4 or 5 chickens in mine then all i have to do is put a tarp over 1/2 of it and they have a dry plays mine even has a perch just a pole shoved across under the tarp and some water

Homestead Journey said...

When we got the chickens, they were 14 months old. I'm sure the transition to a new place wasn't easy on them, but we hopefully will start getting eggs. About half of them were just coming out of a molting stage, so I'm thinking it was just the adjustment that caused them to quit laying.

Dianna, we gave them water and shade, but I didn't think about giving them a perch. I'll have to add that to my run!

Thanks for the advice!

Anonymous said...

If you have a good coop that is caged in train your chickens to come home at night or when ever you want them in. Put chicken feed in a bucket and bang on the bucket. After they figure what is in the bucket they will be racing back to the coup.

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