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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 2AcreFarmer, Jan 26, 2014.
What is your daily routine with your flock from the time you wake up until the time for bed?
I go for a walk, feed and water in the morning, collect eggs. When I get home, I check for eggs and lock things up. Week-ends, I clean a little, add fresh bedding.
Morning--in winter, carry water down to the coop. Open the pop door. Turn the bedding with a fork since we do deep litter. Add more bedding if needed, and throw out a handful of scratch so they mix the bedding for me. Gather eggs.
Afternoon in winter--carry more water, gather eggs so they don't freeze
Dusk in winter, carry more water, check for eggs, close the pop-door.
In summer, they have a pasture waterer and I don't have to carry the water, and I only gather eggs twice a day unless the temps are over 95 degrees.
I clean out the coop to the floor sometimes. Can't tell you how often. When it gets really high or moisture gets in and it gets wet.
Do you use deep litter in the summer?
You mean me? No, not really. Ammonia gets too high, IMO. Also, the deep litter produces some heat as it decomposes, which is good in the winter but not in the summer.
Okay. Thanks! Do you keep your chickens confined in a run or free range?
Neither, actually. Our hens are "pastured." That means that they're not in a run, but in a 75' x 125' pasture. So not free range in the way some people think of it, either.
A late-summer view from the pasture gate. The 50 gallon barrel in the kiddie pool is the pasture waterer. There's a float valve on it.
Hen house. See how the pasture fence touches the back, so the people door opens outside the pastuere and the hen pop door (around back) opens out to pasture?
That's really neat. I'm still learning. A guy dropped some chickens off at my moms work and no one wanted them so my mom brought them home to me and I kept them locked up all the time. It was a bantam hen and six chicks. And about five months later a hawk got the hen and all but two of the babies. So with all of my Christmas money I bought two red sex link hens a 10x10x6 dog lot and a guy gave me a barred rock rooster. Plus I got a bigger coop. I leave them in the dog lot all the time. Should I let them out and leave the dog lot door open so they can enter/exit as they please? Edited by Staff
It all depends on what your yard is like. Is it fenced in? Do you ever have dogs enter your property? Unless they are in a completely closed area, including top and sides and floor consisting of 1/2" hardware cloth, and or solid wood, there is a risk of predation. You have to decide how much risk you are willing to assume. I'd not let them out unless they can be fenced in, or you are able to be outside to keep them safe.
Yeah then I shouldn't let them out. Is a 10x10 dog lot enough though? They've eaten all the grass out and it's just bare dirt. Won't they get bored?