Just waiting for some eggs.........you?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by okie_biddy, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. okie_biddy

    okie_biddy Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2009
    I started out with a chicken tractor that I found on craigslist. The thing is a tractor since it is as heavy as one, but there's no moving it without a few people to help.I have re-enforced the flimsy poultry netting with some garden wire I already had and I put a wire apron of the garden wire around the tractor to protect the chickens from what might try to dig underneath with some concrete blocks and stakes holding it in place. I then bought 5 started pullets that I also found on craigslist, two of which did not make it through the scorching heat wave we experianced. My three hens that remain ought to begin laying soon as their combs and wattles have begun to grow and redden. I have an Americana, or Easter Egger, and two Australorps. The chicken tractor has a three sided coop area at one end. I found a small dog house that I cleaned and sanitized with a chlorine/water solution and I placed it into the shelter to provide them with a place to get in out of the weather, once things cool down. I have wood shavings on the floor. Next to it I have placed two plastic crates that 2 liter soda bottles come in. On top of that I have put an indoor/ outdoor mat and two cat litter buckets with wood shavings for nesting boxes. Inside each box there is a marble egg that I have had around the house forever. Perhaps as their que as to where they should lay when they are ready.
    I feed them Layer Crumbles from a Farm an Ranch store and, scratch grains.I have been adding DE,(food grade), to their feed rations as well as sprinkling it everywhere to prevent inescts and parasites.They also get all the fruit and vegtable scraps they can eat. I admit that I have bought cabbage, kale and cantloupes just for them. Every so often I toss them a handful of dry cat food for extra protein and phosphorus .As well as grit and crushed oyster shell. I bought a bag of scratch wafers from a local feed mill that they don't seem to care for much. The feral chickens and the ducks at the park seen to like it so I take it to them instead.
    During the heat I was giving them electrolytes and vitamins in their water with a teaspoon of acv. Now only the acv in their water.
    As the days become shorter I am thinking of ways to extend the light for them. I am thinking about hanging a wire basket inside the coop to hold a timer and light. For winter I have a heated water bowl that
    I had for my little dogs.
    So, this is where I am so far with my backyard chicken venture.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  2. SweetMotherOfMars

    SweetMotherOfMars Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    The Palouse
    If you are just wanting to extend daylight for your layers, you can pick up some cheap solar pathlights. I found some for $4 each. After drilling a hole in each gable end of the coop I slid the lighted end into the hole and left the solar and photosensor electronics on the outside. I made a gasket out of craft foam and used Gorilla Glue to attach everything together.

    Only one thing I would have changed. I should have removed the ground stake. One side has pulled loose after being used as a perch for a few weeks. [​IMG]

    I still have weeks to go before I can expect an egg. *sigh*

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