Spring finally seems to be here, so in the first semi-dry weekend, we cleaned and inspected the year-old chicken coop. We use the “deep-litter” method for managing coop sanitation, which basically means putting down a 4” layer of pine shavings (the “litter”) mixed with a little diatomaceous earth, adding more pine shavings as the ratio of droppings to shavings gets too large, and cleaning in the spring and fall (see Deep Litter & Healthy Chickens). For the health of the birds, it’s important not to let ammonia levels get too high, so it’s a good idea to clean before spring [...]
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It’s hard to believe, but we’ve had the goats here with us for a month already (see The Goats Are Here). They seem to be doing just fine, and we love having them. It’s hilarious watching them run and play outside, they bounce and contort themselves in the funniest ways.
As we were preparing to get goats, one of my biggest questions was what I should have on hand. This was the list I used to prepare for Tinkerbell and Honey (some of these are obvious I know).
Shelter – they need protection from predators and inclement weather
Fencing – it needs to [...]
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Ok, this post may be a bit “deep” (sorry for the pun), but I’ve been researching chicken litter management. For the past couple of years, our chickens were either housed in an Eglu (with a pull-out shelf for dropping removal), or in a barn stall, where we could shovel dirt and bedding in and out as necessary for sanitary control. However, now that we’ve got the new coop (see New Coop), I’ve been investigating the “deep litter” management method.
What Is It?
The “deep litter” technique originated in Ohio in the 1940’s, and was an important development in poultry management because it [...]
Continue reading Deep Litter & Healthy Chickens?
I just never paid much attention – what’s straw versus hay? It seems I need to know this to keep goats:
First of all, straw is the leftover stalk of plants, like wheat or oats, which have had the seeds removed. Because the seed part of the plant is removed, it lacks nutritional value and is typically used as bedding. Even as bedding, the goats seem to think that any grains the harvester missed are good for munching.
Hay is comprised primarily of grasses which still have the seed or grain attached at the time of harvest, and is used as feed. However, [...]
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The chicken coop has residents! First, temporary installation of the chicken cam:
Mandoor & Camera In Coop
Next a feeder, waterer, and new bedding:
Adding Bedding to the Coop
And finally, the chickens:
Chicks In Coop
We’ve been handling them daily, so it was no problem catching them and carrying them to the new housing. They were fine with that.
But once we left the eight week olds in their new home, they seemed quite agitated about the space. I think it was just too big for them after that tiny Eglu, and all six of them piled into one single nest [...]
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