Last week was a sad week for us here. Out of a group of 12 baby chicks, ONLY 4 were actually hens!! I feel like that somehow we really got some bad odds there. Any thoughts on this from any of you experienced chicken peeps? Karlynn raised 6 chicks and brought them out to the farm when they were old enough – and she only had ONE HEN in the bunch. Something seems a little fishy about those odds, doesn’t it?
So between the two of us we raised 8 roosters that we loved and grew attached to, but with that many roosters and only 4 hens I knew we had to do something because blood was going to be spilled sooner than later. So I found another farm that actually needed roosters and I loaded up 7 roosters and said goodbye. We are left with two Barred Rock hens, one Olive Egger hen who is terrified of all the other chickens, one Ameraucuna hen and one Lavender Ameraucana rooster who is a softie.
This week I also installed the roll away nest box in the coop for the hens. The barred rocks can start laying between 16 and 20 weeks old and that means possibly around May long weekend here in Canada. The ameraucana and the olive egger may start laying between 20 and 30 weeks of age. This roll away nest box is something that I have built from scratch to suit our needs. Inside it has tough outdoor mats on the floor that I can remove and power wash , It has a slanted floor so the eggs roll to the outside of the shed and we can collect them from outside of the coop. I want to keep the eggs clean as possible as the eggs roll out from under the chicken and far out of their reach. In the photo above you can see the clear plexiglass lid on the white box sticking out of the side of the shed under the window – this is our egg collection area. Hopefully we will get an egg, or two this summer. I am also building a platform under the egg box so we have something flat to stand on.
Here you can see poor Queenie up on the roost, our loner chicken who lost all 5 of her rooster companions the day before. Now she has to try and fit in with the new pecking order somewhere and is very unsure of herself. You can see the nest box with the perch down ready to have some egg laying going on and the chickens have absolutely no interest in it.
Here is the inside of the nest box – its one open area that is called a community nest box. I thought this would be better than separate boxes because I have heard that chickens end up liking one nest box anyways. This way they can all lay side by side. I hope. The dark blue hanging cover cut up is a feed sack I put on so that the eggs will roll behind so the eggs will be less visible to the chickens. Its painted dark inside – supposedly hens like dark areas to lay.
Well that’s all the updates I have for last week – but check in next week to see how Queenie is fitting in!