Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cleaning the coop

With winter here, we're getting a lot of soggy rain but not much snow (yet). I wanted to clean the chicken coop to make sure the critters were as comfortable as possible and out of the muck.

Chickens are good at making their own muck, so shoveling it out every so often is necessary. However since the chickens are free-roaming except at night, cleaning the chicken coop is less important during the summer than it is during the winter.

Anyway, this is what I started with.

I got shovels and rakes and a wheelbarrow, and got busy.

Almost immediately, Smoky came over to hang out. Smoky has always been one of my favorite hens because of her fondness for investigating everything we do outside. But since her stint with motherhood, she's become very tame and affectionate.

But Smoky had another reason to hang around me. Since her chicks are now grown up and don't need her attentive care, our flock of bachelor birds have found Smoky, well, irresistible. So Smoky was hanging with me for protection against this randy bunch of young roosters.

Look at these vultures, just waiting for poor Smoky to set her sexy booty outside the coop. (Most of them have a date with the freezer coming up.)

Anyway, I got the coop floor clean, then started padding the nest boxes with fresh hay. The chickens can never resist this stage.

One hen couldn't wait to lay her egg, so I padded all the other nest boxes around her and came back later to collect the egg and pad the box.

Smoky settle right in as well.

Nice clean coop...

...and happy birds.


  1. Ok, you made me want to go out and clean out mine. lol. would want to come and clean it out. hint, hint :)

  2. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)December 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    When I clean out the coop (it has 5 nesting boxes) and put in fresh hay Charlie, the rooster, must inspect it! He struts around and goes in each nesting box, makes a nest bowl and then calls the hens in. He makes sure that all the hens know it's OK now to use the boxes. I have NEVER seen or heard of another rooster doing that-and he does it every time! At dusk he stands in the doorway and calls the hens in. If they don't come right away he pecks at them until they are all inside. I'm glad he is the one rooster I kept because he is so protective of his girls.

  3. Hope your weekend is going well.
    Your chickens are lucky. ;o)

  4. While the snow is blowing and the wind is howling outside my windows, I am very content, planning my big adventure early next spring when we purchase our first chicks, spurred on by you (no pun intended) and your blog. I stunned everyone by announcing that we will be getting a couple dozen, with a dozen minimum headed for the freezer. I am researching breeds and hope to buy a breed that is both good layers and good eating. I'll probably end up getting more than one variety, though and just seeing which ones thrive at 5000 ft.

    I hope to eventually have a few broody hens that keep our freezers full and our egg baskets, as well. When our yard is finally fenced so "other-people's-dogs" (we live rural in a small town but the park across from our house just became a disc golf course drawing people to drive 30 miles to play and they bring their dogs) can not take their toll on our flock, I plan to have the girls and their "man" cageless, performing grasshopper duty.

    Big dreams...


  5. When we rented the house we're now in this past July, it came with four hens (and a henhouse and run). I have no experience with chickens but have tried to live up to the task of taking care of them. Yeah, cleaning the coop, blech yucky yucky. But I do it because it has to be done.

    This past week, (and now that it's very cold, terrible timing) the two rhode island reds molted. Imagine my horror at seeing nearly naked chickens looking like porcupines and not knowing this is normal...