First 2019 post

First 2019 post

First 2019 post – oops!

I’m going to try and cover a couple of months worth of stuff very briefly.

Eggs

We’re getting quite a few eggs but not as much as in summer where they were all laying every day.  Polo laid her first egg (bottom left in the pic below) which was quite small and then seemed to lay a few in succession but has slowed down again now.

Bedtime antics & merging the two flocks

Every night Polo would settle on top of the water bucket and I’d have to lift her into the coop with the others where she’d get comfortable and stay all night.  Some nights she would be on top of the Eglu but seemed comfier on the water bucket.

So we made an obstruction using weld-mesh to try and stop her getting on the bucket, with a similar contraption on top of the Eglu coop (I haven’t got any pics – it’s not our proudest invention 😆 ).  The first night we watched and she tried unsuccesfully to get to the bucket folowed by the Eglu and ultimately went and settled in the coop.  This was amazing.

The following night I found her like this:

Not as comfy, but it’ll do

I had to modify the contraption which was succesful and she’s since been going in the coop everynight.

That was when it was Snowy, Poppy and Polo living in the Eglu.  Since then I have moved Star in with them as I’d observed that she doesn’t pick on them but will join in if one of the other big ones does.  Star has been in with them for a few weeks and all is well.

Star, Snowy, Poppy and Polo in the Eglu

This is part of the plan to merge them all into one flock.  Whenever possible I’ve been putting them all together and it’s definitely getting better but occasionally Belle or Zazu will pick on one of the Silkies and they all join in, even Star seems to despite being absolutely fine at other times.  I’ll keep persisting.

We’ve occasionally been letting them all out in the garden together

I have even swapped the two flocks between the two seperate runs and coops so they are all familiar with both sides.  One night they had all been together and I decided to let them all go to bed in the “big” coop.  This worked and there was a bit of pecking, which Poppy took the brunt of.  But in the morning they were all out and it looked to be OK until we saw a bit of rowdiness and decided to seperate them when we went out.

A bit worrying

On Saturday I tidied up some of the garden and started to take apart the framing of the old run so I can re-use the timber.  While doing so I found a scrape mark on the timber of the door that leads into the small run.  I don’t think this is something we have done and as it is on two seperate pieces of timber, effectively the frame and door, it has definitely happened in place.

It looks like something may have scraped at it while trying to get in which is a bit worrying.  It looks like the marks I found where mice have been trying to get through a gap, but on a much larger scale.  I have checked around the run and cannot find any other signs of attempted entry.

Worrying scrape mark, is it something trying to get in?

Future plans

I have decided that the area to the right of the run, which is prepped to be a shed, will be the new coop.  It has one course of blocks and a concrete base.  I didn’t get as far as building the timber walls but that is what I’m working towards now, unless the weather turns again.  I’ll build the walls and roof, make it very secure, and have a pop-hole door that leads to the little run.  This is with a view to both flocks being merged and living in one coop.  I’m also working on a new roll-away nestbox which will be in this coop and I’ll probably re-use the perches from the big coop.  The floor will be covered with woodchips.  It should be nice and easy to clean out and keep bug free!

I cleared the area to try and progress the new coop
It’ll be a great size and very secure

Since we moved the chickens from the old run to the new one we haven’t had any cameras covering them.  I am used to it now but it’s much better when we can check on them while away.  Once the new coop is finished I will run electric and network cables so we can get it all back up and running.

Comments 6 comments

6 thoughts on “First 2019 post

  1. It’s great to have a catch up. It sounds as if it is all going well and the flocks are becoming integrated.

    Our chicken shed/coop is placed similar to the one you are about to build. It’s on a concrete base which extends beyond the shed with the full sized door and pop hole opening into the run. As an extra precaution I have stapled something similar to weld mesh to the sides and back of the wood of the shed to a height of 18 inches to protect it from anything trying to chew the wood. I am paranoid about anything trying to get in although I check regularly and have never seen any sign. It does give me peace of mind to have an extra layer of protection.

  2. Hi Carol,

    I am thinking about putting weld-mesh onto the framing before I fix the shiplap panels to it. So like you said, anything chewing through the wood will hopefully give up.

    I’m not sure what that scrape is but it’s quite big!

  3. Hi, Kevin

    Sorry – I read the post, but forgot to reply. Happy New Year! As ever, you are undertaking excellent projects and all seems well. Pleased you are getting a decent supply of eggs and that things seems generally peaceful. Polo strikes me as a real character.

    I’ve lost several girls over the winter so far – this morning, I found my chocolate orpington bantam dead – I was sort of expecting it, as she had been ‘under the weather’ for a week or so and had reached the age of five. Still hard to see them go. It’s always nice to seee a young and sturdy flock.

    Good luck with your ongoing work.

    1. Hi David, thank you for your comments. I am sad to read about the loss of some of your flock. How many do you have now?
      Polo really does have a lovely character and is possibly my favourite!

  4. Hi, Kevin

    I now have 23! (Have had over 40, at times in the past.) Most are old ladies now, and I wonder if some of them will ever lay another egg – although that does not matter. We were getting a decent number of eggs until the snow, when they all stopped fairly soon thereafter and we went for a week with none at all; now averaging 5 a day – not many for the number of birds but, as I said, many of them are older ladies and, as you’ll be finding out with Snowy and Poppy, silkies are superb layers for short periods, but frequently stop for bouts of broodiness. Cotton turned six in January; she’s back in lay, but it’ll not be for long!

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