evaluating the chicken project

My last forays into raising chickens ended disastrously, with chicken carnage at the hands…paws…of predators.  What made me give up was the loss of my daughter’s County Fair chickens.

Looking back I can admit that it was completely my failure. The the pen wasn’t secure. I know that I overlooked problem spots because it was simply too much trouble for me.

What retirement can do is wonderful. It lets you focus on stupid little things, it lets you obsess freely.  It lets you pay attention to things that are too much trouble.

Four months ago I delved back into chickens. And after living with the new arrangement, I grade myself 100% happy.

There have been no signs, zero, of attempted forced entry into the pen or coop.  I haven’t seen any signs of rodents. The actual construction (which seemed a huge project at the time) has worn well, and I find it really useful and convenient.

One of my biggest concerns was wasted food and dirty water.  Check. All good.  The heated 2 gallon waterer with horizontal poultry nipples is a joy. I refill it maybe once a week for six chickens.

I researched all sorts of homemade feeders, mostly made of PVC, before I decided just to roll with a commercial feeder with little dividers that prevent the chickens from flinging feed sideways.  It’s awesome, and I don’t notice any waste.

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The outside ramp was a little concerning, because it necessarily had to be really long.  The chickens took to it without even sneezing.

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Likewise, I,wondered whether the limited floor space would prevent the girls from having enough take-off and landing room. Again, they didn’t even have second thoughts.

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The poop-shelf works flawlessly at containing their night-poops.  It’s really easy to clean off. And the little chicken ladder I pounded together is happily used as a perch and as an access to their main roost.

The only real problem I had was keeping the girls from roosting everywhere except their roost. Even on top of the waterer!  That was solved easily with a chicken wire cone above the waterer, and some well-placed boards elsewhere.

I’ve probably jinxed myself by writing this, but I’m pretty happy.

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