My daughter awoke early this morning, as she has for the past several mornings before. It seems like as soon as I decide to get up before her, karma gives me a nice smack and says “Hey, do you think it’s going to be that easy?” In any case, she’s lounging groggily on the couch as I wander out to the chicken coop in the early morning light.
The last few mornings I’ve heard crowing from the yard, not too loud, just barely. Naturally I assumed it was our own Johnny Cash, coming into his own. So I think hey, any day now Loretta will start laying, now that Johnny is ready to take the reigns as alpha of my little gang of three. Much to my surprise this morning, as I reach for the coop door latch, I see my own Loretta lift “her” head up and let out a throaty cackle…
One hen and two roosters does not an egg breakfast make. So it looks like I’m going to be attempting a trade on my poultry group on Meetup, hopefully Johnny for another hen. I’m getting rid of him instead of “Loretta” because he is Tammy’s brother, and if I ever decide to breed I really don’t want to cause genetic problems; besides, I don’t know if they’ll even breed in the first place.
This is not the true chicken drama – the true drama is, well, POOP.
All the time.
I’ve had to pressure wash the carport about once every two weeks. I’ve got to figure out a way to keep them out of the carport and off the porch most of the time. I think the key is to make the back half of the yard more appealing, possibly with some more shade and water. I have an Avian Aqua Miser in the coop (which seems to work just fine), but I think the water comes up so slowly that they look for more convenient watering opportunities, like the condensation runoff from the air conditioning unit. I also may have to switch back to putting out their food all day, instead of just at night, but I’m going to have to get a metal bucket. I’m pretty sure rats chewed a hole in my plastic bucket solution.
Speaking of which, I’m going to have to get a metal container to store their bulk feed altogether:
I’ve heard rats will even chew through metal though, so I’m going to have to make sure I get a good seal on the container so they don’t really smell it.
I suppose this is a learning process – I grew up on what used to be a farm, and my grandfather has kept a large garden my entire life, but by the time I was born, the animals were long gone. I’m committed to trying to feed my family myself though, even if only partly, so I’m going to try and fix these problems before I give up. Anyone with chicken experience, please feel free to throw in your two cents!