makes one week. Ha, old joke, I know.
The cold weather has settled in for good it seems, and I’ve not been out and about the farm much to snap any new pictures. Not a lot to take pictures of, either. Everyone is hunkered down for the winter. After work I run out and gather eggs and get back into the warm house as quickly as possible. On really cold days I’m hauling warm water from the house out to the chicken coop and picking up eggs before they freeze, sometimes three times a day.
Out of almost 50 hens I’m getting only between 4 and 8 eggs a day. On Sunday we spent most of the day sprucing up the chicken coop, thinking this would entice the girls into laying inside the coop. We got the nest boxes cleaned out and rebedded, set up more feeders and an additional waterer. Got a light hung that will turn on/off on a timer. The walls of the coop don’t reach all the way to the roof, so we created a ceiling for the room by stretching tarp across the top. This will help keep the room warmer, as well as keep the hens from escaping when we want them to stay in. We also built new perches that will accomodate all 50 birds.
The best part is we did all of this without having to buy anything. One tarp was leftover from the broiler pen this summer, and we cut another piece of tarp out of a hay tarp that got ruined in a windstorm. The lumber for the perches was cut from some homesawn we’d never used.
Then on Monday night Matt was able to catch all but 8 hens and shut them in the coop. The plan was to shut them in all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning, have eggs coming out our ears, and let them out at noon today. But yesterday’s grand egg total? 8. So we’ll leave them in a little longer. They don’t seem to mind, anyway. It’s like a Hen Hilton in there.
So now we get busy with indoor chores. I’ll take my time and work at fall cleaning all winter. I never did finish washing the windows. We had such a warm fall and late frost that it took forever for the asian beetles and flies to disappear. So windows will wait until spring. I’ve been working on Christmas gifts. Poring over seed catalogs and making lists of things to grow next year. Working on the farm recordkeeping. I enjoy the change in activity this time of year, and about the time I get tired of it spring will be here and we’ll be back outside again.