Coop Scoop

Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

All 6 chickens roaming the full run together All 6 chickens roaming the full run together

There’s always something happening down at the chicken run. I am, depending on various factors, amused, saddened, worried, fascinated, pleased and a whole gamut of other emotions by my 6 chickens. You can thank me now for sparing you the daily details, I realise the level of interest in my chooks is inversely proportional to your distance to their chicken run.

But, it’s time for a little update because:

IMG_5889-001a) For the first time ever, last week my 5 hens gave me 5 eggs in one day – twice! Remember, 2 of them are almost 2 1/2 years old and 3 of them are over 3 so they aren’t spring chickens any more and shouldn’t be laying every day – especially not in winter.

b) My 2 flocks are basically, almost totally, for all practical purposes, integrated.

c) Molly looks like she’s going to make…

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The Coop – Some Thoughts

Fort Pelham Farm

Coop Finished

I finished the coop today. This journey began June 18 so it took a little over a month to complete.  I have to say that I am pleased with how it came out and the chickens really love their new home.  They aren’t old enough to go outdoors yet but the ladder is ready when they are.

Building this taught me a lot of things, some of them about building.  The huge lesson I learned is that I can’t do everything myself.  I physically just can’t do it.  I was pretty disappointed to find that out.  For some reason I thought I could have this pretty much done in a couple of weeks – I’ve built things before.  I didn’t take into consideration the weight of a sheet of plywood and how high I was going to have to lift it.  I want you to know that I can barely…

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We’ve got a chicken tractor!

Pillow Talk from The Stanton House Inn

For all those excited to know, we at the Stanton House Inn have a new piece of equipment in the back garden: a chicken tractor!

Chicken tractors are basically movable coops without floors. The purpose of this equipment is to protect the chickens inside from predators and weather while allowing them access to greens, bugs, dust (to bathe in), and fresh air. As our tractor is relatively small, we move it anywhere from once a day to a few times a day, to allow the grass time to recover. We also take the girls into the chicken coop at night, as there’s no where for them to sleep safely from night-time predators.

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Staunton, Virginia is one of the leading farmers that first made chicken tractors famous. Credit: Margie Burks/Flickr Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Staunton, Virginia is one of the leading farmers that first made chicken tractors famous.
Credit: Margie Burks/Flickr

But there are other benefits to tractors, as well. As can be guessed from their…

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