With weather warming you will often find me and my loyal State Trooper outside in my coop. I love critters and all the outdoor work that goes with farm life 😀 just look at this sweet baby face mut of mine, and he’s just as loving and loyal as he looks.
And goofy….he’s mighty goofy and always up for fun.
But I am not on a farm so I have ingeniously re-created a backyard chicken farming lifestyle in my small town suburbia main street homestead. Some people say and think you can’t have the cake and icing to, I say that’s a crazy saying, that’s what icing is for 🙄 One day I hope to be on an acreage but for now this backyard farm will do.
There’s always so much to do in my coop right now. I was caught off guard last year in October when a friend on a farm asked me to please adopt her 7 chickens because she was moving into town and leaving her hubby. Hey! why didn’t I just switch hubbies! 😆
They were her pets and she knew I would tend to their every need. Well I couldn’t say no so I took the crew in but not before a family discussion with my current crew of chics and ducks. The chics were not agreeable and told me to stick the newbies in the doghouse. My ducks also rebelled and voted for the doghouse plan 👿
They reminded me the coop was not large enough for 12 people to live in comfortably. I reminded them they were chickens not people and I would increase their popcorn ration. They called me a silly little sucker and again said no!. The clan gathered late that night after I tucked them in and plotted against me.
The little wieners deliberated through the wee night hours of the night and in the morning approached me with a their crazy verdict :roll:It was unanimous, they would strike and picket by sundown. Well I was not about to be swangled by a crew of walking drumsticks so I threatened and said “how bout the roaster then” to which they replied “woohoo it’s about frickin chicken time” I realized just then they thought I said rooster and I snapped back “NOT ROOSTER MORONS, ROASTER!“ and showed them the pot.
The strike was quickly abandoned and some chics skipped down under to visit the ducks. My coop is on legs and the ducks have a nice enclosure underneath.
They explained to the ducks the travesty of their situation. They promised to show them how to poop out an egg and told the ducks a few good jokes. The ducks agreed to let them hang with them but their preening arctic mud hole was off-limits.
As well as the procreational hot tub
But when the time came they would be invited to the baby egg head shower.
My intention last summer was to build a walk in coop complete with shingles, siding and a super cool strip of round submarine windows my husband collected. It was going to be another crazy marvelous design. I have a tall 2 story condo look planned to match our house. This was all dependent on him having weekends off.
Rob unfortunately worked every weekend last year so my new coop was not constructed and the flock nagged me everyday. I told them I would buy straw bales and build them a very nice temporary straw house fort, just like the house in the little piggy story book I read to them. That made their tiny chicken brains happy.
I got the bales and arranged them around the original coop. It was spacious and cozy and tarped with heavy poly so snow couldn’t get in. Everyone was warm with ample room. The pecking order was quickly established with minimal superficial wounds.
But three months into winter passed before I was actually able to tarp the pen so I shoveled out the majority of the snow to the far north end. Then I’d crack open a bale and spread it out so the gang could enjoy the odd sunny day that winter would allow, while rummaging and scratching through to the frozen ground. The amount of snow yet to arrive in the months that followed would later find me laid out flat, face down in duck splat moaning 😳 over the massive task that lay before me at winters end.
We had an enormous amount of snow that year. I had to climb and scrape off the roof or my poly tarped wire roof would cave. I couldn’t reach the entire length of the roof with a shovel so I made a chicken coop roof snow sweeper stick, it looked nutty but worked so I’m gonna patent it 😉
You’ll find that crazy story here at Construction in the Coop
(wooohooo woohoo woohoo, I did it I did it. After a week of struggling I finally figured how to put a link in my post, woooooohoooo 😆 😆 )
We also had some bitterly cold days and the ducks wet splatty poo would freeze as fast as they blast them out, forming a stink bomb on their little bum hole. They all had little frozen straw covered turds draggin behind them so I brought them in from time to time and washed the poopsickles off in the bathtub.
My girly ducks were indignantly opposed to this perry care and scrabbled desperately to escape my hold. They were very ungrateful and quackled repeatedly “stop touching us pervy girl“ The boys on the other hand sat suspiciously still. They seemed to enjoy the time I spent rubbing their dirty ducky bums and I was thinking they were the pervs 😎
As I maneuvered the hand-held sprayer with one hand and rubbed off the softening poop with the other, I noticed the 2 little hormones in duck suites gazing dreamily at me through flickering lashes. I was a bit creeped out and told them “this will be our first and last winter bathtub playtime together“
The pile of snow and straw I shoveled for the benefit of my flock reached a height of 4 feet and 20 feet long.
If my plans for a larger walk in coop had worked out, I would have had a decent system in place to deal with daily cleanup, instead I had an over abundance of straw on the ground for the comfort of my flock so my initial cleaning up plan was ditched and a new plan was needed. I couldn’t rake the poop since I found I was raking far more straw out then necessary.
I hate winter passionately but now I have 1 good thing to say about it. With the extra work produced by a larger flock of chickens and my first litter of ducks, I found chicken nuggets and duck patties are easy to pick when they’re frozen.
Necessity is the Mother of invention so one day standing amongst my flock in dismal questioning I invented a solution. The chicky poos and ducky splats are frozen so why not just peel them out. Ah…what a brilliant concept and so quick. I simply picked out the frozen nuggets and patties and dropped my frozen treats into a pail, what a wonderful way to collect a prized bucket of turds.
So now spring is here kinda sorta. The mountain of snow delivered is starting to melt as the weather warms but being the overindulging insane backyard chicken farmer that I am, I began to shovel out the 20 foot stretch of straw filled snow bank in the pen to give my flock more room to roam (I need a life) and I found a little spruce tree I planted last spring hiding under the heap.
I started this snow clearing for chickens madness with a large piece of poly. I spread the poly out in the pen and shoveled the straw snow and poop mixture onto it. I’m a genius I was thinking as I pulled the slippery tarp through the pen out into the yard. How slick and smooth was that. HOLY I’M BRILLIANT I thought to myself in complete ecstatic delight.
That delight died fast when I reached the garden. I had no way of sliding my massive load off into the garden! My garden was encased within a 3 ft tall wrought iron fence and the entrance gate was welded shut in ice and snow. I already managed to bag much of the soiled loose straw and had them lined up waiting for spring to rota-till in, but how the hell do I get this tarp inside?
I stood staring, mouth dropped open in disbelief dwelling on the only option I had left. But as I reflected back to the amount of snow yet to be removed I promptly lost my mind
I flung my stringly little arms up, grabbed my head and threw a little fit. I refused to resume this task on a mature level without indulging myself in an expressive foolish childish tantrum first 😈
I stood on top of my heap of crap, kicked my feet back and forth while holding and thrashing my head erratically from side to side and cussing in multiple languages; 😈 when my feet lost grip on the straw and met with the slippery plastic tarp. My legs lurched back folding in a fruity way and my head was quickly planted in a splat of poostraw 😳
My loyal State Trooper who is always close at hand sprung into action to rescue me. He left his garden compost rummage pile, leapt over the garden fence but misjudged his jump. I was squished just a bit further into the crap. With his fat wet nose he drilled in and rooted up my head, then grunged bathed my face.
I was horrified and mortified. I’m off my granny rocker again I thought, why can’t I just learn to stay there? Now I’m a grimy smelly soggy little walking compost stick enduring this putrid hell for a dumb little flock of egg laying poopers.
Well… I have the patience of an alley cat in heat and the brains of a knat so I grabbed a shovel and started heaving. I tossed my load from the poly tarp over the garden fence. I worked up quite a disgusting sticky sweat but I had a layer of bird turd on to mask my b.o.
Back in the pen I grabbed my plastic garbage pail and plowed into my insanity. I filled the pail then drug it out to my garden.
First I hand-picked and tossed the large frozen chunks over the fence, Troop close by as always drooling for falling turd snacks 😎
This rendered the pail light enough for me to lift up on the fence rail and dump. I did this for a mere 6 hours until I felt like death.
I’m pleased to announce my hard work paid off and my flock started to enjoy the extra room before I was finished.
I am now the proud mama of extra happy eggs everyday. Not only do my happy chickens still deliver the goods to mama daily, they did indeed show the ducks how to poop out their own eggs as promised.
I was just tickled the morning I found a bluish green egg. It was just laying there out in the open on the ground so I grabbed it and brought it in.The ducks didn’t care. I know ducks can be aggressive when you come near their brood but I guess their still to young to care.
I was a bit freaked out at first I have to admit. The ducks had been doing a lot of “googley woogley action” with spring in the air and I don’t know how the fertilization procedure works. It was still freezing at night so the egg wouldn’t be hatching out in the open all by it’s lonesome, but I didn’t know if there were any visual signs of a baby ducky inside or not. (I’m a backyard farmer, I’m not fully experienced yet) I was so curious to see but knew I would faint if I cracked open the egg and something curled up inside plopped out.
But I just had to see so I twisted my head away a bit, spied with a squinty eye and lightly tapped the egg on the edge of a bowl, nothing…gotta tap harder…I feel like a sneaky bully now. I resume the position and tap harder…nothing… Wow, this is a tough little egg-head I thought and smacked it once again. SMACKERS! this sucker is really rubbery I said as I smacked it a fourth time real hard forgetting to be squeezy. TO MY SURPRISE OUT DROPPED A FAT ROUND ORANGE yolk 😀 I later found out that the baby wouldn’t start forming for about 6 days after being layed.
For the next week I was blessed with 2 eggs daily. I’ve read that duck eggs are more nutritious and people who are allergic to chickens eggs eat them instead. They are certainly bigger and make baking fluffier.
Then one morning everything changed.
I love to just squat and watch the adventures in coop. It makes me happy to be among Gods critters while they cluck, quack, peck, pluck, scratch and squabble. It’s just hilarious and they always make me laugh. But this morning the ducks were frantically chasing the chics that got to close the nursery.
I realized the ducks were becoming protective of the eggs now so I had a look, sure enough they had finally made a nest. Oh! I was excited and I leave the eggs alone now. It’s still cold at night so I’m not sure if the eggs will hatch. It takes 28 days for that but the ducks aren’t spending their time sitting on them either, I guess I’ll see what happens in as I peak in the nest each day and take my chances with the killer ducks.
Let me see the eggs?
I can’t wait to hear the pitter patter of baby poopers, that makes all my work all the more worthwhile 😀
NOW WITH MUCH EXCITEMENT I’VE DECIDED TO START THE CONDO WITH THE SPACE I’VE CLEARED! 😀
I’ll just deconstruct the current coop, move it to the open space and put it back together again slightly modified with the building material at hand. Won’t my husband be surprised! All he’ll have to do when he finds time is take it all apart again and build it right 😆
My loyal State Trooper is in now in constant garden patrol because my garden’s aroma sends an inviting whiff of chicken down wind to alley cat alley. He’s taunted daily with the breeding season crew that indiscriminately hump each other (I’ll spare you “that” porn photo) then reap the sun rays on our truck behind the garden.