Monday, December 30, 2013

Dressed for Success, Part II

For chicken chores in warmer weather.  As a librarian, I love that it is labeled "Chicken Shirt."

Thanks CJ and MJ!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Brief Intermission

Papa and Mama Hen have flown the coop.   
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another Postcard

The chickens seem to get more mail than we do!  Take a look at the Picasso they received today.
Picasso called it Der Hahn or The Cock.  I call it Chicken Panic.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lou the Explorer

So energized by the beauty of the sunrise, Lou decided to go exploring.  Here she is examining both sides of the roof of the nesting boxes.
Verdict: the insulation looks good, but maybe a little more straw.

Sunrise Over Red Door Coop

We had a beautiful sunrise one morning this week.  Papa Hen caught it on camera.
The birds were entranced by it.


Dear friends from Canada sent a postcard to the chickens of Red Door Coop.  The birds immediately identified with the subject of the postcard picture.

Thanks M&M!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Papa Hen and the Spinach

There was a bit of a snack time frenzy over the weekend.  Papa Hen brought out a big bowl of spinach in the late afternoon and spent some time watching the girls munch away.  Funny how the pecking order comes out around snack time.  Lots of competition for the prime leaves of spinach.  Take a look.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snowy Saturday Morning

Papa Hen went to out clean the coop this morning.  It was the first adventure out of Red Door Coop that the chickens have had in the yard in over a week.  Since the snow was partially melted (finally) the chickens found it acceptable.

Cold Weather Eggs

Yesterday's eggs.
From the left: Fitz, Bill, Bruiser, Lou.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chickens of the Future

The new new look inside Red Door Coop is futuristic.  No, we did not give them chicken devices to scroll through apps appealing to chickens.  We added insulation.  It's shiny, metallic, and how one might imagine robot world to look.  In addition to the insulation, we added a rope light loosely covered with aluminum foil. We want the lights to stay on all night for a little extra warmth, but we don't want the lights on all night.
Here's what it looks like.
Hopefully chicken aliens won't identify Red Door Coop as a familiar spot and decide to land in our yard.  On second thought, that might be rather interesting.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Still in the Freeze

It is still chilly here in Colorado and the chickens spent another night in the garage.  Here's a view of the coop through the kitchen window.
We got up very early this morning to take the chickens from the garage to the coop in time for early morning egg laying (Fitz!).  At 6:28 yesterday morning, we returned the birds to the coop and Fitz walked straight up the ramp and into the nesting box.  This morning we arrived in the garage about 6:31 (it IS Saturday!) for the transfer back to Red Door Coop.  Well, we were three minutes too late.  Fitz laid her egg in the garage.  Good size!
Want to see the little storm shelter constructed by none other than Papa Hen?  It's a three wall structure built from squares of straw.  In this photo the birds stepped out of the shelter because I was spreading some scratch in the straw for them.
I call this next picture "Bruiser Face."
Papa Hen is working on the coop right now.  You will soon get to see the additional insulation and special lights we got for a little extra warmth on the coop.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One Night Stay

HA!  You thought I was going to say "One Night Stand."  Sorry, this is a CHICKEN blog!

If you haven't been watching the weather lately, let me fill you in.  Colorado is in the middle of a Siberian Freeze.  Really.  That's what the weather people are calling it.  To really explain how bad it is, you need to know this: we have had indoor recess at school EVERY day this week!  Teachers don't choose indoor recess much because even if it is cold, we know how badly the kids need to play outside.  In a nutshell, the cold has been extreme.

Here at Red Door Coop, we've been on watch for frostbite, frozen eggs, and anything indicating that the chickens are suffering in the cold.  Since we chose not to have a heated coop, we feel very concerned over the well-being of the chickens in cold weather.  They were doing fine until this morning...when they were very quiet and their combs, despite our care, seemed a bit frozen at the tips.  Papa Hen immediately ordered the ceramic heater (safe for chicken coops!) and the intention was for Mama Hen to install it after work in the 45 minutes between arriving home and the sun setting.  Needless to say, that task was impossible and the chickens are having a One Night Stay in the garage.  Take a look.
They are all feeling nostalgic (ha!) spending the night in the cage they were in when they arrived at Red Door Coop many warm months ago.  There's a thick layer of straw and pine shavings underneath them and a blanket on top for darkness and warmth.  Toasty.
It's hard to see the four chickens, but they are all in there.  This is when they were getting settled for the night.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Before the Big Storm

One day before the storm, the chickens spent a long time digging around the yard.  They didn't want to go back in the coop when it was time, as if they knew that a big snowstorm was coming.  Do I believe they can predict the weather?  Not a chance.  Am I glad they had a good go at the yard?  Yes.  Did Papa Hen do a lot of raking after Chicken Play Time?  Yes!
Update on the mystery of the golf ball being pushed out of the lower right side nesting box: we continue to find one golf ball pushed out of the nest, even after the golf balls were all mixed up in the four nesting boxes.  Oh, to be inside a tiny chicken brain.  One would have to be pretty tiny.