The weather sucks. The birds have been spending 99% of their time in the coop because of the cold and snow. I was happy to see that yesterday a few of them decided to come out of the coop for a few minutes. Supposedly after 3/10, the temps should be going up so I hope they will get out of the coop and into their yard. That yard is going to be be pretty darn muddy as the snow melts. UGH
I decided to make an Excel spreadsheet with # of eggs, # of daylight hours, and high/low temp. I should have started this 6 months ago so I could refer back to it next winter. Oh well, live and learn. I'm getting 10-19 eggs a day now with the daylight hours around 11 1/2. With 22 hens, I would think I should be getting 18 eggs a day when the light gets to 14 hrs. Nice thing is, my friends an co-workers are buying all the eggs that I'm not using
I got 7 eggs out of 9 hens today.
We may not have your snow and freezing temps, but we have had enough rain to make up for it. So Sloshy!!! Sick of it.
A couple days of decent sunlight this week.
Still tolerating my gladiator rooster as he has done nothing but good watching the yard.
No attacks in a few weeks. I think it will occur periodically when he thinks he has opportunity, but possibly, he will eventually stop that notion as he continues to meet consistent backlash.
With all the mud, do your hens get the nest boxes muddy and therefore the eggs muddy too? Mine do that and then i have to wash the eggs. I'm just washing with hot water and a scrubby, then put them in the 'fridge
I have not noticed mud in the nest boxes. The coop is dirt floor, but covered. Outside, I have a jungle-ish yard. Where there is no grass, there is weedy, bushy, leaves, pecan shells, gnarley whatevers. I think that keeps the mud down some.
I am trying to do deep litter in my coop. It was going ok until this past week. The frozen poop thawed and now my deep litter is a soggy mess and the ammonia smell is strong. I'm going to open the window, but I need to dry out the sogginess. Will hydrated lime work? What about peat moss? I don't want the birds to get sick and/or die because of the ammonia.
KoKo...When my coop gets in that condition, I fluff the bedding up with a pitchfork and add another layer of bedding or, depending on how much bedding is already in there, I'll go ahead and clean it out and start over.
I toss the old bedding on the compost pile for a year, then till it into the garden.
I cleaned it out entirely in October. I don't want to do that again. So if I add more leaves and pine shavings and then turn it over and do the fan, that should work? So peat moss is a no no?
I can't get to my compost pile yet unless I decide to use ice skates. Maybe later in the week some of the ice will melt. Could I just toss out some of the soggy bedding into the chicken yard?
I had my neighbor come over and help me. We got rid of a bunch of soggy stuff and put it in the chicken yard. I did some research and found that peat moss is OK for chickens, so we added a bunch of that to the soggy mess in the coop and stirred it all up. And I opened the window. Now the coop smells like dirt. I still am going to get a fan rigged up in there. And I can also add hydrated lime if needed.
Thanks for all your help and suggestions