A Garden Comment and Chicken Report

This is one of the best garden bargains I have ever gotten. I paid $4 for a little rose bush that was not grafted, and this is it just two years later. It is always healthy, and it never stops blooming.

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So today was the day to “steam clean” the chicken coop. That is what I called it, because I wished that was what I could do. First I cleaned all the litter off the floor–a combo of shavings, chicken poop, and food. And it was really dusty. And then I had to bring in the big guns–a ladder and a hose. I wanted to clean off all the chicken shit from their roosts. And believe me, it was a LOT. Because I am a nice person, and I know that chickens like to roost on a shelf rather than a post, most of them roosted on 12 inch and 8 inch boards. Which means they crapped all night long on their roosts. Anyway, that’s enough poop talk. It actually wasn’t quite as hard as I thought it would be. But I was worn out when it was done. Oh, you can see in this picture that I started feeding them wet food. I just soak their chicken food for a few minutes. There is way less waste that way, and they really seem to enjoy it.

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This is Baby’s sister. (did I tell you all that Baby died last spring?) Anyway, she was looking pretty poorly all summer, and then she finally grew a new set of feathers. But she’s already looking a bit threadbare. I don’t know what’s wrong with her, if anything.

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And here she is all fluffed out in her nest box.

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This is Baby’s other sister. She has always maintained her feathers. I don’t think she’s the ruler of the roost. She just seems to stay away from the rest of the chickens.

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She seems to pal around with the professor, and they stay mostly in the second yard. Poor Professor. He hasn’t had a tail for a long time. But if you look closely, you can see a few feather buds back there. I am hopeful.

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This chicken has finished moulting and she is in full feather. I love seeing them like this.

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Here is the Dominic rooster and hen. She has just about finished moulting, and he is just starting to moult. He only has one tail feather right now.

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So here is a sad little chicken (but she doesn’t know it–she’s very perky and inquisitive.) She is moulting, but the whole lack of a tail is so ridiculous. Many of my chickens had that going on. I am hoping that by leaving the lights off this winter, they will not peck each other’s feathers out so much.

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Here is a chicken in full moult. One time I had a banty chicken, and she would moult in November, when it was pretty cold, and she lost every single feather all at once. I felt like I should knit her a sweater!

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And here you can see all the feathers just starting to grow back in on another chicken.

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So there you go. That’s what’s a happening with the chickens. I am still enjoying them a lot. I will enjoy them even more if they keep their feathers this year. And, I have to say, it is a relief to have the coop cleaned out before winter comes.

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8 thoughts on “A Garden Comment and Chicken Report

  1. Your chickens are pretty ruff looking right now. LOL But hang in there, the new feathers will regrow and they will be nice and fluffy again soon, hopefully before winter arrives. Another reason for loss of feathers on your hens’ backs might be because the roosters rough them up when they mount them. You mention all the poop on the roosting shelves….I put a thin layer of straw on mine so that I can change it out pretty often and easily and the poop doesn’t stick to the shelf…newspaper would work too.

    That little rose is quite lovely…great bargain.

  2. HI,
    Back in the 60’s where I grew up, in SW Mt. My mom and grandma treated their chickens for Lice. Not sure what product they used.

    My husband and I raise cattle, also treat them for Lice, Grubs, and worms.

    Just a thought.
    BTW- love your style of quilting.

  3. Maybe the chickens need Prozac just like Paco did – hey, if it can calm down his licking, it might calm down their pecking each other. Or you could try leaving the lights off…probably easier than pilling a chicken. 😉

  4. I love your chickens! But I am really glad I don’t have to clean up the coop!

    I don’t know what “ungrafted” means when buying a plant, but I do know you picked a good one. It’s beautiful.

  5. Okay, what is with the moulting? I know zero about chickens, and that would freak me out. Is it like when a dog sheds? At least dogs don’t shed ALL of their fur off! And here’s a weird question, how often do you have to clean the coop? My neighbor’s coop is…I’m just going to say it…nasty. Just wondering if that’s normal or what. :/

    • The chickens mount once a year usually. Not all of them lose all their feathers at once. I guess they just need new feathers. So far I’ve cleaned the coop twice a year. Although I let the roosts/shelves go a whole year. In between I put more shavings on the floor. Its no doubt that chickens are just plain dirty. But having a nice coop makes me want to keep it nice, if that makes sense.

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