Meanwhile, inside the hen house, the girls were completely confused about where to sleep.
The first night, in fact, the girls couldn’t figure out how to walk back up the ramp, so they all piled up right at the bottom of the ramp, outside. By the second day they had figured that part out, but judging by the amount of hen manure in the nesting boxes and completely lack of bodies on the perches when I peeked in during the night, the girls hadn’t figured out that perches are for perching.
The next day, several of the hens had sorted out the perch situation, but nobody had laid an egg inside the nesting boxes, Instead, they are using the two back corners of the main area of the hen house. The next modification we’ll make is to add a low board across the bottom of the open side of the nest boxes. This will (I hope) accomplish two things: a) they won’t be able to shovel quite so much litter into the nest boxes when they are digging around in the shavings and b) they will feel more secluded, contained, and secure if they are behind more of a barrier.
Stay tuned…Interested in learning who else is participating in the 30 days agriculture blog-a-thon or the five things Holly Spangler will be talking about this month? Head over to Prairie Farmer to find out!
Can you get an inside shot of the nest boxes, or is the angle too tricky? It really is a skookum house, so those hens had better get it figure out.
Will see what I can do – we still have to add that board. A couple of the girls have actually used the boxes now and most have figured out the perches, so we are making progress. That said, most of the eggs are still winding up in the back corner of the main part of the house…
I can relate…it took me ages to train my last batch of birds to lay in the nests, and even now I find the occasional egg in the middle of the floor – and they’re entering their second season.
Pretty girls. Indeed you have much more patience than I. Good luck on that wonderful part of the planet.
When I pay $5/doz for local, free range, organic eggs, I appreciate the efforts of the farmers.
Raising chickens here does not make sense on my 1/2 acre, when living so close to the mountains. Diane