One of my jobs today is to clean the chook house. As chores go, this one is pretty shitty, albeit chicken shitty. But one can’t just let the poop pile up forever, can one? (Are we allowed to say poop online? On WordPress?) Someone once told me that if I say “Pardon my French” whenever I use a word that might offend, I could get by with it. Well, to be honest, that just doesn’t work for me. I almost never write or say anything in French, and I’m guessing you don’t either. But I digress. Where was I? Oh, yes, in the chook house, cleaning out shit (if you’ll pardon my Canadian–and, no, that is nothing like a Brazilian). Where was I? O.M.D. –even my digressions have digressions!
As I was saying, today I have to clean out the chook house. Unless I get a better offer. Failing that, I might just pull on my cowboy boots and head oat and aboat, (see? I do occasionally speak Canadian). Going oat and aboat would, of course, be a direct act of Avoidance Behaviour, (which I’ve written about previously; I’m an Expert). I’ve done plenty of that since I’ve been home, culminating most recently in the (probably late) filing of my 2010/11 income tax yesterday. Man, what a shitty job that was! Worse than cleaning the chook house.
Today I mostly just have to rake out the crap of the past few weeks and find a place that can make use of it. There are plenty of empty spots that could use the fertiliser. Then I’ll just spread some fresh hey around. (N0, that’s not a typo–my chooks are really cool). Speaking of which, some years ago (early 1990s) I wrote a blues number which, if I can find it, I will include here. My aim was for my son to put it to music, but, alas, that still hasn’t happened. Now I’m banking on one of my grandsons taking up the challenge. Let’s hope I don’t have to wait for a great grandchild to take it up… It’s called Chook House Blues. (Update: I still haven’t found it, despite having searched everywhere, and having turned my study into something resembling a bomb site. But I shall keep looking.)
By the way, some of you may be wondering how the chooks are settling in. Well, I’m here to tell you, they are growing at an alarming rate. Blossom, dearie, is providing a lovely little egg every second day, and has not been egg bound again (yet). Except for Blossom, dearie, they all explode out of the chook house and run to greet me whenever I approach. I know it’s only cupboard love, but I’m rather used to that. There is also a lot of flapping of wings and efforts are being made to leap to new heights. (That can be amusing if the chook doing the leaping happens to be in the two-foot-high runway that connects the henhouse to the larger enclosure.) I can’t wait until Satchmo starts trying to crow. I shall try to capture that on video to share with you. Even with their little pea brains, these chooks seem able to recognise a good thing when they have it. Life’s Good here at Fossil Cove.
So now it’s Decision Time: Will it be the cowboy boots or the rubber boots? MM
PS: Later. The rubber boots won the day, despite the appearance of a much better offer. Nor did I don the cowboy boots and go oat and aboat on my own. It’s not like me to be so strong against the Forces of Temptation, but–unlike me–the chookies now have a much tidier home, and I’m feeling slightly virtuous at having Done the Right Thing. sigh
I was reading recently about the design of a “chook tractor”, which is simply a wooden ‘A’ framed chook house with two (pram) wheels at one end and barrow like handles at the other.
The door is also ‘A’ framed and located (with hinges) at the end with handles.
The whole frame is covered in wire mesh (the base is not wired so the chooks can scratch) and is designed to be moved to new locations around the garden as the feed is consumed and the chook shit builds underneath.
Old lawn mower grass catchers were fixed internally to the end away from the opening door, and with some hey bedding made excellent nests. Need a small door to access the eggs.
The whole thing was about 1 to 1.5 metres high (at the peak).
Could be constructed from second hand timber but would need a new roll of wire, and some wire tacks.
Chook shit cleaning is simply a matter of moving the tractor to a new location and raking the ground where it previously stood.
If your chooks want to fly over the open yard fence, use scissors to trip the tips of ONE wing. Just a few inches from the tips, maybe two, would do the job. Then they fly in circles and can’t reach the top of the fence.
Love your chicken run 🙂 Have been busy here cleaning the manure out of our pen ready for the spring garden. We have poor soil but I’m sure it’s going to be a lot better come spring 🙂
There’s nothing like chook poo virtue.
The Meandering Matriarch said:
That’s what I’m thinkin,’ W.