Did a little Spring Cleaning this week. Haven’t really wanted to do that at all lately, but sometimes, you just have to clean. We cleaned the kitchen and on Friday, we cleaned the coop.
And I didn’t take ONE PICTURE. Again. I knew it would make a good blog post because its about my chickens. But never once thought to take some pictures.
How about this instead:
Imagine with me, my Green Tractor. Its a little dusty from sitting in the shed much of the winter. Turns out, both front tires were flat too. And the fuel was almost gone.
I drove it to the coop like that, filled the bucket, myself this time because the kids hadn’t caught up with me yet, and drove it into the horse pasture, over in the corner where the manure composting set up is. Please be sure to keep in mind that there are 3 very curious horses in here, just waiting for some nice, green grass. (Don’t worry- they didn’t get out.) It just makes for a better picture of what is going on.
Dumped the bucket and by then a child was there to open the gate again for me making sure that those nosey horses stayed where they belonged, and the older boys had driven up. Whoops. That was not a good look from the Body Shop Boy….
I drove it back to the shed for air in the tires. There he enjoyed telling me he had found 3 transmissions for his car, while he filled the tires for me. I told him to BUY a NEW CAR. One that doesn’t need continual fixing. He was not happy with me.
The kids helped me clean the bedding out of the coop. The chickens clucked their disapproval to us the entire time. We were supposed to give them some treats while we were out there. We did that later.
Now, imagine 2 kids, about 12 ish years old, taking scoop of mostly dry shavings and shredded paper out of the coop and into the bucket of the tractor. The gave each other a hard time. They laughed. They climbed over the bucket. The 15 year old helped them scoop and scrape all the old bedding out. No winter gear on that day. Nice. But then, muddy. Oh well.
It IS mud month.
Once emptied of soiled bedding, we made a solution of Thieves cleaner and wiped down the walls where they like to, well…. The top roosting bar is close to the wall there. We used some cleaner to scrub out the water tanks.
Then, I had a fresh load of mulch from the guys who had been working down the road. There is a lot of construction on our road and many trees had to come down. I brought a couple of loads of that over and we scooped it out into the coop for their bedding. One kid cleaned out the nesting boxes and added shredded paper to them. I added some Diatomaceous Earth to kill the mites and other creepy crawlies. I read that Joel Salatin does that with some of his animals so I thought I would try it and see how it worked. Best part? It is FREE! Along with the shredded paper I have, it seems to come out to some nice composted materials after a little time in the coop. This stuff is great for the garden. This is best left to sit for a little while because it can burn off plants if used right away.
Once all that was done, we swept out the feed room and refilled the water tanks. We put one inside the coop and one outside. I left the feed hanging outside in the run to see if that worked or not. It probably will come back into the coop. I sprinkled some DE inside the coop as well. Great stuff to kill parasites on the birds. We did also put a load of mulch into the run for them to scratch and peck through. They seemed very happy with all those new options for creepy crawly stuff.
Here are some pics that the 11 year old took after we took showers, when I thought for the first time about taking pictures. I thought she did a pretty good job of taking pictures for me. Love those chickens eyes looking through the fences at her.
You can see where we put mulch down inside the coop and outside- cuz its so muddy around the coop and at some point I want to add plants and make it look pretty. You can also see where we put shredded paper into the nest boxes.
I will have to do a post about the horses soon or rename the blog CHICKENS Dirt and Motherhood!