Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chicken Update: Nesting Boxes

Despite rain and illness, I was able to construct serviceable nesting boxes and attach them to the chicken house. I had originally planned to have it so the eggs would roll down into the little bit that sticks out at the bottom but then later decided that that was too much like factory farming and would preclude providing a nice comfy nest for the girls.

The girls now seem to use the nests consistently for laying. We've been getting an average of about 3 eggs a day for about two weeks now. However, due to illness, I only had my second meal of home-raised eggs on Thursday, because I'd been sick for a week. The day I got sick I had eaten my first meal of home-raised eggs. I don't think the two were connected but since the sickness involved not really wanting to eat I didn't push it.

Dada gets very excited by finding eggs in the nesting box.

The box still needs to be painted but it hasn't stopped raining long enough for the wood to dry out enough for me to paint it. I built it out of scrap plywood left over from the house construction as well as a bit of scrap from Mike around the corner who has a cabinetry shop.

IMG0002Here is one of the Rhode Island Reds enjoying the privacy of the nest. We've lined it with newspaper, ball moss from our neighbor's tree, and fresh cedar shavings (even though all the authorities say never to use cedar with chickens, they seem to be happy with it and they all survived from chickhood living on cedar, so I think it's an old wives' tale).