Cleaning Out the Coop
This weekend we took some time to do work on the chicken coop. As you can tell from the slightly blurry photo below, our "coop" is made up of two open runs and an enclosed coop.
First we need to do a few repairs. Some of the chicken wire had come loose due to Blue, our large blue orpington hen. She's rather nervous and when she gets startled she will sometimes fly into the chicken wire. Due to her rather substantial size, she can pull the staples out of the wood framing.
So after some we did some stapling we dealt with a visitor that has been hanging around. Tucker has had a few "epic battles" with a possum that likes to call the chicken coop home. We aren't really interested in starting up a home for wayward possums, so he had to go. We basically created some Quickrete "rocks" to stop up the spots where the chickens like to dig and our new friend has been using to get under the foundation. There are a few other holes that we need to plug up near the ceiling, but that is for another day.
Very classy looking isn't it. The paper bag will eventually wear away.
Finally we cleared out all of the all straw from inside and hosed everything off. We have been doing sort of deep litter method of bedding in the coop this last year. It was pretty dusty and dirty. Fortunately Tucker did the scooping and I did the hauling away in the wheel barrow. We're using the bedding as mulch under some trees.
Once it was all cleaned out and had time to dry, we put down some new straw, refilled the waters, and filled up a pan of water for the chickens to cool off in. I've read that after a big cleaning like this (especially when deep litter was used) and result in a bunch of flies in a few weeks. I'm hoping that will not be the case for us. We bought a fly trap to have on hand just in case.