Yes, I’m talking chickens again 🙂 Here we are with a new flock of chickens we hand raised this spring and summer. They are just beginning to lay since before Thanksgiving. If you have never raised chickens before, do not panic if the first month’s eggs are really small. That’s normal – they’ll get bigger.
Once again, they started out laying eggs all over the floor instead of our beautiful nesting boxes lined along the wall. So, this time we used an “old-timers” trick of putting fake eggs in the nesting boxes. (Yes, it was after a couple of weeks of floor eggs.) I love to collect rocks, so had purchased agate eggs for my collection. Although these can be expensive on the internet, or as “cheap” (HA!) as $20 and up to $300, I had found these agate eggs next to the local health food market for a nice low price.
IMMEDIATELY after placing these beautiful agate eggs in 3 or 4 boxes, WA-LA! The hens started laying in the nest boxes. Eggs are clean to fairly clean, and no more cracked eggs. Just love those old-fashioned ways, sure do! Here’s a photo of one similar to ours:
PREVENT BROKEN EGGS with these really inexpensive nest pads. They have sort of fake cushy turf for the hens to lay on. I just love these things. The eggs are cleaner too. To purchase, see… NEST PADS $3 each that work great, and can be washed off easily. http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies//ProductDisplay?catalogId=10052&storeId=10001&langId=-1&division=FarmTek&productId=17698 They also carry water nipples which can be placed at the bottom of 5 gallon buckets affixed to a wall or beam. That way your poultry or other animals can get fresh clean water without doing their “business” in it.
Also, 5 gallon buckets can be used for longer-term feeding. There are lots of DIY chicken feeders on the internet. The bucket one has holes along the side bottom with a planter dish that catches the feed as it comes out. This is the one we chose to make.
During our first chicken winter, the bored hens began eating the insulation. We had placed blue foam board in the walls and ceiling to keep them warm. However, showing zero gratitude or good sense, they tore it off the walls, and how they got the ceiling hanging down, we’ll never know!!!
We had purchased some laminate flooring scraps at a cheap price. So-o-o-o, we now have a “Designer Chicken House” 🙂 The ceiling and walls are a light oak hardwood flooring look-alike. The chickens are happy. The walls are insulated. No damage anymore and it looks great. Someday I’ll write an article on “Fort Chicken” with our own photos showing the pallet walls outside.
Have a fun day, laugh, and enjoy yourself!