Rss

{Flock Updates} The Deep Litter Method and the Sneaksy Hens

I don’t know if you know this, but chickens in a coop & run are kind of a lot of work if you have issues with strenuous activities or kneeling down & getting back up or just walking. I suppose they might be a lot of work for people without a physical handicap, but it feels like it’s extra hard for me now that I twist my ankles on the regular just trying to walk down the hallway.

Well, I read about this thing called the Deep Litter Method & decided to try it out while the flock was in the makeshift coop in the barn. The very bare bones of the method is that you keep adding litter to the coop floor, making sure to rake/turn it & adding whatever your choice of mite/smell control product is (right now, I’m using Food-Grade DE or diatomaceous earth) before adding the new layer of litter. Supposedly, you should be able to only clean the entire coop out once a year if you do the method correctly.

Being sick on top of not being very physically capable as of late, I decided to try it out. As of today, we were almost 3 weeks into using the method when I noticed something funny. Calypso was in the front corner of the coop on top of an egg in a little nest I hadn’t noticed the night before or the nights/days before that. I picked up the egg to get it out of the way as I got ready to move everyone to the outside run when I noticed there were 2 more eggs there!

image

After getting everyone out, I decided that even though I was dripping sweat from my fever, I had better check the rest of the coop in case there were more eggs I had somehow missed. Sure enough, 3 more were buried deep in the back corner of the coop! In both places the night before, there hadn’t been a nest or a indentation in the litter to indicate that there was a nest with a clutch of eggs. The hens had buried them so deep that when they covered them back up the area looked virtually undisturbed. I did have to take all the eggs in & ask my mom if there were actually 6 eggs in my hand because I was sure I was hallucinating from the fever.

There were distinct differences in some of the eggs that makes me believe Penelope & Nausicaä might have started laying eggs along with Athena & Calypso. One was definitely a first time egg as it was tiny like the first couple eggs I had gotten last month.

image

Even crazier was that, I found 2 more eggs in the outside run when I went out there to put the flock up for the night! And here I was getting worried I wouldn’t be able to collect enough eggs to try & incubate next month (yes, my mom convinced me to still try it). I might get some fabulous looking chicks with punk rock attitudes yet.

But I think we might not keep up with the deep litter method while the flock is in their makeshift coops. Might have to go back to it after I get the actual coop built in a few months.

Comments are closed.