Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Sunrise

The sky was beautiful this morning and cast a nice glow on the coop.

Fitz in the Morning

I opened the back door of the coop this morning to scoop under the roosts and was working away at it when I peeked down to see if Fitz had left her early morning egg for us.  Boy, was I startled when I saw her laying quietly on the nest of golf balls and her egg.

Fitz's peace was interrupted (as was mine) when Loud Bill showed up and ruined the quiet moment.  You can just barely see Fitz down there.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Yard Time

Today started out cold and unusually foggy but quickly turned into that sunny Colorado we love.  After Papa Hen and I went for a hike, we sent the girls outside to play.

In the first picture, Fitz presides over two of her flock mates.

Lou is digging solo.
Fitz in action, digging for what she hopes will be a juicy bug below.  Notice her bald spots?  She is still molting.
Bruiser and Bill.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


The chickens love a few handfuls of scratch at any time of day.  We always try to give them some before chicken bedtime because it helps keep them warm through the night.  Here's a look at Scratchmania tonight.

Chicken Mail

And the wave of mail for the Red Door Coop birds continues.  If this were an Olympic Competition, the Canadians would be winning, for certain.  Two cards arrived this week.
Canada - GOLD medal
Every other country - no medals

We have an entire gallery on the fridge.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Seen in Portland

We were lucky enough to have time in Portland as well.  On the drive between Seattle and Portland, we saw some live chickens out and about in farmyards, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera.  Sorry.

Seen in Seattle

We took a little trip over the weekend.  Here's what we saw in Seattle.

An egg and dairy shop near Pike's Place Market.

Other chicken sightings.

Above is a sculpture at the art museum.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Winter Quarters

The cold spells have been bone-chilling this winter and the chickens have spent enough nights in the dog kennel in the garage without a roost.  The birds can sleep laying down on pine shavings every now and then, but it isn't pleasant for them, or for us, to have birds waking up in a pile of their own you-know-what.  We thought about ways we could put a roost in the dog kennel.  And then thought some more.  Then we thought about how big of a hen Ms. Bruiser is.  Then we thought about how chickens can get sick or pecked and may need to be separated from the flock. Then we thought even further into the future about adding new chickens to the flock and having to quarantine the new birds for a short while to make sure they are healthy.  And after all that thinking, we decided to purchase a small assembly-required coop to keep in the garage.  We are testing it out tonight after the birds damaged their coop.  We chose an affordable coop from Tractor Supply Company called ChickenWARE Heavy-Duty Chick-N-Hutch.

If you've ever read Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, you might be thinking now about Sarah and Percy and Bill and how "all owls think a lot."  It's one of my favorite read-aloud books ever!



When I got home this evening I heard a loud banging coming from the coop.  I opened the coop door and found the girls on the roost pecking at the insulation and eating it, I'm afraid!
HORROR in Red Door Coop!

The chickens were immediately whisked away to the Red Door Coop winter quarters.  When Papa Hen arrived home from work and had eaten some vittles, we headed out to the coop for repair.
It's a good thing Papa Hen is skilled at this kind of thing.  In no time, it looked like this--

The birds will return to Red Door Coop in the morning.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cabbage Morning

Yesterday we mixed things up for the chickens a little bit.  After discovering that that they had pecked at some of the insulation in their coop and ate some Styrofoam, we knew they needed a diversion.  Papa Hen pulled out the old cabbage holder that we made last summer and gave them a treat.  The cabbage is on the right side.  The birds were in the dirt bath discussing the strange green sphere.  In no time, they attacked!
I climbed up on the fence to take a peek at the chickens from the driveway.  While balancing there, I realized that I had a great view of the solar panel and optic eye that "drives" the automatic door.  Even with the label in the photo, it is hard to see the optic eye.  It looks like a pen sticking up from the top left corner of the solar panel.  Papa Hen and I can't say enough about the automatic door we purchased from Chicken Doors: Home of the Pullet-Shut Automatic Chicken Doors.  It's made our mornings and evenings a lot less stressful--and our chicken sitter likes it too!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Por Las Plumas (update)

We watched Por Las Plumas (All About the Feathers).  It was a wonderful movie: quiet, funny, and full of a charming rooster named Rocky.
Thanks friend, M, and the Toronto International Film Festival for sharing this film.

Then and Now

Then:  4 days ago when it was 10 degrees in Denver and snowing.  Papa Hen was in Korea.

Now:  It's balmy outside compared to temperatures earlier this week.  Papa Hen has returned to his girls.

He's got great timing, hasn't he?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Quarters

In the cold spell this week, the Red Door Coop chickens have been privileged to sleep in the garage every night.  They are hand delivered to this cozy spot each evening and returned to Red Door Coop in the morning where they spend the day.  This arrangement works for all of us.  The humans get a better night of sleep because they are less worried about freezing chickens.  The chickens, while not in warm temperatures by any means, are in slightly warmer temperatures than they would be in the coop where is it dipping below zero, even with all the insulation we've added.

Here they are on this Wednesday morning before heading out to the coop.
The following photo is a little blurry, but you can see Fitz's egg.  No matter how early we get out to the birds, she always has an egg waiting for us!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Double Shot Tuesday

Double Shot because that is what I need to be drinking after a 15 degree day with about 4 inches of new snow to shovel after work!  A neighbor used the snow blower out front for me *thanks* so I was relieved to only shovel the back driveway, around the coop, and the front step.  I worried about Fitz, Lou, Bruiser, and Bill all day but they seemed content when I got home.  The birds wanted their snacks and let me know that they are missing Papa Hen too.  

Take a look at the Red Door Coop yard today.  Not too shabby!