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Friday, March 5, 2010

Yeh! I got outside today!

The weather was so nice today. Sunny, warm around 60 degrees, perfect for working outside in short sleeves. My day got started earlier than I had planned but I managed. Jason called me this morning to chat for a few minutes before he went across the border into Canada. He don't use his cell phone when he is in Canada due to per minute cost of 70+ cents. Any way I was all befuddled because I am a smoker and I was out of smokes, and that's a must with my morning coffee. So off to town early to get smokes. I intended to stop at the local farm store and get some onion sets to have on hand in case it gets dry enough to plant them this weekend. I was so thinking of my coffee and my morning smoke that the onion sets were totally forgotten. So I restarted my morning routine and did some things in the house, then off to town again to get onion sets to plant. I got really nice size ones too, the size of a quarter, so I should have plenty this year.
This afternoon I got out and cleaned the brooder house where my dark Cornish hens are living right now and put in fresh bedding of shredded paper that I have been saving for this and mulching. I have 1 little hen that is sitting on about 4 eggs. I cleaned the building and was sweeping the floor and she didn't move or leave her nest. So I am thinking she is serious about hatching babies. That means tomorrow I am going to fill up my incubator with the eggs I have been saving. Then all the eggs should hatch together and this little hen will wake up with a whole house full of kids. This weekend we are going to try to get the fence built around the other hen house across the road then move the hens to that building. As I was cleaning that chicken house across the road I was thinking about the design. The building is designed so that under the chicken roost is raised off the floor, enclosed and there is a sloped floor under the roost that is covered with used tin and it slopes to a door that opens in back of the building. The manure can then be removed without entering the hen house. This serves 2 purposes. The first one is ease of cleaning, the second is that chickens produce the most of their manure while on the roost. So with the major part of the chicken manure being under the roost and not on the floor of the hen house, the house stays totally dry inside. The stuff that I removed from inside the building was nothing more that a small amount of manure and lots of fine straw that had been bedding for the old laying flock. The brooder house that has been used as a hen house this winter was a little wet on the floor from the manure collecting there. So if we ever build another hen house it will also have a trap door built in back of the roost with a slope under the roost to collect manure. Dang the older I get the more I learn.
Tomorrow more things to do around here. Probably fix plumbing at the rental house and cut post for chicken pen and maybe dig some post holes. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



Mrs. Mike said...

We have one more day of solid sun before the rain is back. Peas are in and another row, different variety, today. Onions and potatoes too. The girls are back from lambing at the family sheep farm, so I think I'll really work 'um this afternoon!

My coop is always damp in the winter. You've given me some good things to start thinking about as we are improving the chix shed.

stella said...

Hi yall, well the older we get the more we learn i do think. This chicken house design works well for keeping the birds out of the manure too, as there is very little where they can scratch in it, you can really put some scratch feed in the bedding an they will make compost for ya.