A Clean Chicken Is a Happy Chicken, Perhaps

Back to cute little animals and ranching activities, which everyone can enjoy! I still have seven outdoor birds, five laying hens, Bruce the rooster, and Gertie the Guinea. They always surprise and entertain me, as you can tell from how many blog posts I manage to take up with Poultry Tales. But, they are my buddies!

Bruce rules the roost with a gentle hand, or wing. His pointy feathers on his neck and back are gorgeous.

I mentioned earlier this week that they’re creatures of habit. But, sometimes they do change their minds. All of last year, the chickens preferred to sleep on the branches in the chicken run. They would all line up, and when we had lots of them, it was quite a sight. Now that it’s winter, though, many of them have decided to roost in the roosting area of their henhouses. That’s all fine. I’m sure it’s warmer and dryer.

But, when the chickens spend more time in the henhouse, there gets to be more poop in there. The nest boxes had become noticeably more poopy as of this week. I’d prefer cleaner eggs, and I’m pretty sure the hens prefer cleaner nests, since I found an egg just sitting on the roosting area yesterday.

So, today I put on a mask (hey, at least I own a lot of them!) and cleaned out their little world. I didn’t realize how much bedding and such was in there until I removed it all. The tub got pretty heavy! I’m hoping we can use the material in compost.

A lot of pine shavings and poop (and a piece of wood)

Naturally, it was harder than it could have been, since all the things I could find to scoop out the material were exactly as wide as a nest box. I know I own a bunch of garden trowels, but they must be put away very well.

Ooh, aah. We do still need to fix the missing divider. We have all the parts. They still lay eggs there.

As soon as I was finished, Springsteen, the homebody, RAN in and checked out the white henhouse. Then she RAN to the red one. Much clucking occurred. She’s a good housekeeper. Or maybe it was her egg-laying time, since she hadn’t laid one yet.

The gentle giant, Springsteen. You can see some green highlights on her feathers.

While it was a messy job, I enjoyed it, because I got to spend time with my bird friends and Vlassic. I hope you enjoy these close-ups of some of the younger chickens. It’s neat to see how they change as they grow up.

Hedley, in the rear, is the shyest hen, and won’t let me get close. Bertie and Gertie are overly friendly.

And can you believe good ole Bertie is over a year old? We will have had her a year next month, and she was four months old when we got her.

This had gotten particularly dirty, and the roost area in front was also a mess. This is way better. Golf ball is a fake egg. All the eggs in these pictures are the ones we were trying to hatch, which are now dummy eggs.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

7 thoughts on “A Clean Chicken Is a Happy Chicken, Perhaps”

  1. awww your chickens are cute what breed are they? mine are two plymouth rocks, one leghorn, 3 brahmas, three astrolorps, one hamburg, one dorking, two marans, cornish, and one more for the life of me is not coming to me, just did a head count and have 15. they make great pets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m down to 6, thanks to a raccoon. Easter Egger rooster, and 5 hens: barred rock, Jersey giant, blue star, Ancona , and Wellsummer.

      Like

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