The Fat Ewe Farm 
    and B & B

...organic permaculture farmin' 
  for the lazy you's and
 Bed, Breakfast 'n Bale

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The Chicken Coop

Posted by Fluffy on October 22, 2012 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (3)

The chicken coop was actually a shed that was insulated with rigid foam. An opening window was installed, plus a vent to let moist warm air out. Unfortunately, the door does not fit properly and there is seepage of air so the coop is not all that warm. Today, a heat lamp was installed, not necessarily for heat, but because the chickens are afraid of the dark. They have no problem going out of their wind tunnel door  when it is light, nor going in the coop during the day, but as night falls and it is dark inside, they are afraid and would not go in unless I opened the man door. This was not a good plan, because any warm air from the day's sun was let out during the evening opening to let the chickens in. So, a heat lamp was added, and it solved two problems: one, the chickens being afraid of the dark, and two, the added warmth available when it is cold outside because of the air leak around the ill fitting door. I have tried to add wood to the inside to make the door more snug, but the door itself does not sit properly and the lower part is out a half inch. When wood was added, it would not close securely, so it was removed again. If the chickens did not peck at things, a foam door strip may help, but they would demolish it, most likely. So for now, this will have to house the chickens. 


Next year a new door can be constructed to the one that is there can be rehung properly to fit. In the meantime, no more scardy chickens.

Mother Hen?

Posted by Fluffy on October 12, 2012 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (3)

It was a very cold today with a nasty windchill. The little chicks were out and about with the big chickens, but they were cold. They have most of their feathers, though they are still sparse and small. I put a straw bale in the fenced area so the chickens could be sheltered somewhat from the wind if they wanted to be outside. The coop run door was opened and they easily could have gone inside. They didn't though. The hen with the wing over the chicks is a rooster actually. It was so endearing to see him protecting the little ones and the hens surrounding him as he tried to keep them all warm. He is not the father of the chicks either. His instincts must be very strong. I believe he is a keeper. 

The poor babies huddled outside under the chicken coop and fell asleep. I was unable to reach them to put them inside. It is still very cold and windy and I sure hope they will be alright. The rooster went inside to stay warm. I guess chickens cannot communicate well enough to tell others to go inside where it is safer. Too bad. 

Roosters at The Fat Ewe

Posted by Fluffy on October 9, 2012 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Brewster, the Jersey Giant

Shane, the Speckled Sussex

Jason the Columbian Wyandotte

There are too many roosters at The Fat Ewe Farm, but so far, none have fought very much. Maybe that is because of the breeds they are or that they have enough room. Brewster, the main rooster, is a Jersey Giant and is smaller than he should be. He is gentle with the hens and an excellent protector of his flock. He also finds food and calls them over to see what he has. The little Japanese Bantam rooster does that same thing too. He has a flock of his own, so he is the boss there. The Speckled Sussex rooster is always outside his pen trying to fight with him though. There is definitely a pecking order in the roosters as well as the hens. The Salmon Faverolle is on the lowest rung, then the Australorp rooster. He is younger than the others, though in time, might put up a fuss about being low man on the totem pole. The Wyandotte Rooster and the Speckled Sussex are about equal and run away from Brewster. The ones that challenge the others are the little bantam crosses. I could not get pictures of them today. They did not want to stay still long enough! 

Richard, The Salmon Faverolle

The Australorps

The chickens are in their new winter coop tonight. I had to physically catch each one and put it inside and keep the door closed. They ran out like screaming banshees when I put them in with the door open..as though their lives were at stake. Crazy chickens. All that time, effort and money and they are too afraid to make use of a warm coop. I put in two solar lights and locked them in for the night. I hope I do not have to do that again tomorrow. The bantams have a special cage in the coop. I hope they are alright there, especially because there are 2 roosters in a small place. Guess I will find out. 


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