The chickens have been settling into their coop for a couple of weeks now. Wynona continues to be the only one laying eggs so far; the two Cochins, Poppy and Raveena, are taking a little longer to get in their egg groove.
|Poppy blends in with the straw and wood.|
In an attempt to finally provide the girls with some consistency, this weekend I installed a two light system: LED white light on a timer for 14 hours a day (regardless of outdoor temperatures) and a 150 watt infrared heat lamp that can be manually plugged in when the temperatures fall below 25 degrees F. To secure the two lamps in place I installed eye bolts and attached the lamps using small carabiners, eliminating the chance that they can be knocked down and into the straw.
I added a couple of additional weather upgrades, including a wide strip of reflectix along the top of both fold-down doors. Foam weather stripping wasn't quite thick enough to cover the top seam of the door, although it worked well along the left and right door seams.
One of the more vexing design flaws of my coop has been that I didn't install a retainer for the thick mat of straw on the floor of the coop. Little nuggets of frozen chicken poo roll out (disguised in bundles of straw) and jam themselves into the hinges as I close the door. To fix the problem I screwed in a couple of pieces of scrap board as a temporary retaining wall until it warms up a bit (from -5 F), and later I'll cut a piece that fits the space correctly.
I hope the girls are happy with these small upgrades to their cozy coop. Maybe the Cochins won't want to lay until summer, or maybe they'll surprise me one of these days with an extra egg or two in the nesting box. Either way, I enjoy starting every morning and ending every evening with a visit to their coop.
|Wynona roots around for hidden tasty treats.|