Girls have just started laying- but need to clean the coop!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rachel'sFlock, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Rachel'sFlock

    Rachel'sFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    My girls are at 21 weeks and half have begun to lay.
    I have been using the Deep Litter method in their house, and have been laying down new layers of straw and bedding over the top of the old ones since Spring.
    The time has come to empty the coop of all bedding and add a new, fresh base.
    They live indoors, but free, inside their coop.

    A few weeks ago, I brought an old feed sack (something they have never seen before) full of straw up to the coop, and they lost their minds! [​IMG]
    One came flying at my head (and the open door) at top speed, and I only averted a "free range" chook because I threw both hands up like Jerry Rice, and caught her, mid-flight. It scared the *explitive deleted* out of me.
    With the Ladies just starting to get the "hang" of laying, I want to disrupt their mojo as little as possible.

    Any tips for keeping things mellow, while getting the job done?
    Thanks, in advance!!!

    Bright Blessings
  2. Bearsfan

    Bearsfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2009
    Hannibal, MO
    I would let them explore the yard while I cleaned the coop out, unless you have a severe predator problem.

    Or, build a really cheap little A frame tractor that they can enjoy some fresh air and greens and put them in that. You really should have something on hand to put some in in case of sickness/injury anyway.
  3. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Do you have a portable screen house, like those used at campgrounds? If so, maybe you could set it up near the coop and put them in there while you work in the coop. You'd have to make sure they can't escape under the screen, of course. A tent would work too, you would probably want to put something down on the floor to make clean up easier afterward.

    Bearsfan is right about having some sort of crate on hand for emergencies. We have an inexpensive cat carrier, but an empty cardboard beer case will work in a pinch.
  4. Rachel'sFlock

    Rachel'sFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the tips, folks.
    I do have a terrible predator problem, and I also have a cat carrier if one is hurt or sick. But no where near enough room for 6. I will contemplate this, between now and coop clean-out and see if there is somewhere else I might be able to 'stash' them until I can get it finished.
    Thanks again for the suggestions!

    Bright Blessings
  5. sotelomary

    sotelomary Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know if I can be of much help. Can you possibly build a large box frame with 2 x 4s and cover it with chicken wire? You can them invert this on the ground and put your chickens in while you are cleaning their coop. You only have to make it large enough to hold all of them. You will need a door to make it easier. Hope my idea is clear.

  6. Rachel'sFlock

    Rachel'sFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very clear, Mary.
    Thanks so much for the idea.

    Bright Blessings

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by