… but they are warm!
Last night the Orpington flock passed their ‘butt tests’. That being the ‘bottoms up’ check for lice and mites. Everyone seems to be clean and healthy and that means … the coop is good to go for its winter fill up. That pile of straw in the background gets spread over the woodchips.
The door landings are ‘raised’ using boards screwed into the walls. It is a big step up – I’ll need to remember that over the next while! That allows me to add six inches of woodchips. I sure noticed that I was standing MUCH higher in the coop once this layer was set down. It also makes for smooth landings when the Orps jump off their perches each morning.
The feeders and the water dishes need to come up off the floors. They’d disappear in the deep bedding otherwise! So I converted a section in each end of the coop to be a raised food and drinking hang out. Having moved the roosts right to the edge of the landings the chickens will need a ‘step up’.
I AM noticing that my pledge to repaint the roosts each summer … didn’t pan out. Maybe I meant each decade! 😉 Above is the ‘newbie’ quarters. This is where Norman and Charlie (young roosters) hang out with their sibs – the Isabelles and Inky.
This is the beginning of the deep litter that accrues during the winter months. The compost from the ‘poop ledges’ is mixed into the floor bedding. The key is to keep mixing it in and to keep adding a thin new layer of straw every few days. The idea is to let the bedding compost IN the coop over the cold months. That process adds a little natural heat to the coop. The bedding also provides lots of enrichment for the chickens as they dig and scratch and search for goodies – like they do OUTSIDE in the warmer months.
With this job done – my winter prep list is … COMPLETE!