So the first little while with the chickens has definitely been a learning experience. I watched them a lot. I probably creeped them out. If my chickens had Facebook, I’d have been all up in their business, old photos, relationship status, you name it. I wanted to know everything about them.
First, we had to teach them where to lay their eggs. You’d think that the boxes in the coop would seem natural, but apparently not. They laid all over the place, willy-nilly. The kids certainly enjoyed the “Easter egg hunt” through the pen to try and find them each day.
So I put golf balls in the laying boxes in the coop. That’s suppose to help them identify where to lay, because they think they’re eggs. I guess they like to lay where others already have! We also took away things in the chicken area that served as a nice private laying area for them. For example, there was an old plastic sink basin in the run, for them to play with/on, but they liked laying their eggs in it, so we took it out.
Look at those cozy milk crate laying boxes! Who wouldn’t want to lay their eggs in there, am I right?
Getting them in the coop at night is important. You need to lock them in there and make sure no predators can get in. Heard the expression “fox in the hen house”? Exactly what we do NOT want to happen! So every evening my husband and I went out there and tried to shoo the chickens into the coop. This was a total gong show! We must have looked hilarious, bent down, chasing chickens around while they ran from us! I’d catch one, put it in the coop, go after another, only to have the first one back out, looking at me! We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off (haha- get it?)! Total madness. Anyway, one evening we forgot. It got dark, and we thought, “Oh man, now we have to chase them around IN THE DARK!?!” but you know what? When we went out there, they were all inside! Seriously! They were all perched on their roost asleep. THEY WENT IN ON THEIR OWN!!!
Turns out, chickens just automatically look for a safe place to roost when night falls. So, if we just waited until dark, they’d put themselves to bed, and all we had to do was go out and lock up their doors. Sweet mother, it was so easy!! If only we’d known THAT from the beginning! Ha!
So, as I become more and more of a real “Chicken Lady”, I learn more and more. Clearly there’s a lot to learn! Here we go on this chicken adventure!