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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Warm, Cozy Bed and Raccoon

Enough leaves?

Today, for the first time in three weeks, exbf came up and helped me do things. He does not refill the hens' boxes each week. Sometimes, he just puts more leaves and pine straw on top of the old.
 
The bottom Rubbermaid box is where they lay. Sleeping happens upstairs. When the laying box is this full of straw and leaves, I have to feel around for eggs. I really think Thelma and Patsy Cline hide the eggs. If they laid eggs and left, they still would roll around and down to the side of the box. However, the eggs are so deep that I actually cannot see an egg, maybe just 1/2 inch of egg.
 
At any rate they will snuggle down into the leaves and pine straw and make themselves comfortable on a cold night. They have never had a roost.
 
Last Wednesday about 4:45, I could see the day was losing light. It was beyond the time that the hens would be out. Usually, they come near the back door, then move to the area in front of their pen, then into the pen. Finally, they jump on the table and sit and look at the dying day. Then, they jump up to the top box.
 
This night, they were at the back door just standing there, like they needed me. I talked to them and went toward their pen. As I rounded the corner of the house, I say a very large cat...was that a cat? No, it was a raccoon running out of their pen. I kept walking and then hens followed, making frightened noises, like they were questioning me. They stopped about ten feet from their pen and looked around. I moved between their door and the raccoon sitting on the fence watching us. As I moved between the raccoon and door, the hens ran quickly into their pen. I slammed the door and left. sigh....
 
I need to set the trap.
 
Tonight for the hens it's "clean sheet night."
 
Your turn
Do your hens roost or sit the sleep? Do you use what you have for their pens or do you buy "bedding" for them. 

13 comments:

  1. Some of my hens roost, some sleep in their nest boxes. I use straw and white wood chips for them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason and Michelle,
      Mine were never provided with anything to roost on, ever. So, I know why they don't roost. Well, they still don't have a roost. But, I have often wondered why chickens, given the same opportunity, roost and some don't roost. I use what I have so I don't have to buy stuff. I cannot afford to buy chips and straw. It hasn't seemed to hurt them so far. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Snowbrush,
      Thanks. I am too. I would have been so upset. I doubt they would have gone out there even if it got dark. They would probably decided to roost on the porch rail, just as close to the door as they could. I have to be more vigilant.

      Delete
  3. Not having chickens but wishing I did, I still haven't figured how I could keep them safe from predators. I'm assuming an enclosure would definitey need protective wire all around, including the top. I bought a 10 ft. dog enclosure, which the dogs refuse to go in and have often pondered keeping some laying hens there if I can make it predator proof. First though, I need some manly strength for the actual work to accomplish this project. Finding the help though is like searching for hens' teeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sissy,
      If you have the 10'x10'x6' enclosure, you have what I have.Thankfully, you don't need much skill and moderate strength when it comes to manly strength. Is that the same pen you have?

      Delete
  4. Oh those hens needed their batwoman! That raccoon scared them. I wonder if they found or got any eggs that might have been in there. Or were just looking for a warm place. Hmmmm. I am so glad you came to their rescue!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Furry,
      I cam through for them. I think the raccoon just wanted to rip out a chicken chest! Raccoons live right over my den, so they sleep in great comfort. My getting between them and the raccoons made them confidant...for a second

      Delete
  5. We get wood shavings from a locally owner sawmill. The owner is open every Saturday morning to anyone who would like to get as many shavings as they can carry. We fill used feed bags with wood chips, tie them closed with baling twine and stuff them into the back seat of the car. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,
      Fresh bedding? That is great he gives them away. Now, I have a sawmill n the neighborhood.

      Delete
  6. Most of my chooks roost. I use bought hay or dried grass from here in their nesting boxes. Your chooks are lucky they have you to protect them.

    Barb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barb,
      When someone mows the yard, I keep the hens in their pen. Afterwards, I throw fresh, green grass in the next day. They love to go through the cut grass for bugs.

      The dried grass gets raked for their pen. Thanks. I try to protect them and keep them free of any fear. Of course, a few have been gotten by raccoons, but I do my best.

      So, with roosts, some hens just don't roost. I have wondered about this and hens.

      Delete

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