It’s just after new years and the snow has finally melted. That means giving the run a good cleaning! When there is snow we put straw down so the girls little feetzies don’t get so cold. Then on a dry day we rake it all up and throw it in the compost pile. But the girls apparently don’t like us picking up all their nastiness! It’s so fun to play in!
What should take 20 minutes takes an hour! When I’m not forcing them out of the bucket, I’m trying to stop them from scratching and kicking around the piles I built, trying to load them in the bucket!
But how can you get made. They are just too cute!
See the girls playing with the poop bucket on their You Tube Channel:
It never fails. Every time I rake out the ladies run they follow behind me to see what I’m stirring up. If I leave a raked pile on the ground too long the ladies jump in the pile and start scratching and kicking. Everything I raked up is re-scattered everywhere again!
So now I have to guard the pile and stay close to it as I’m working. I’m constantly shooing them away. The minute I turn my head to grab a shovel to scoop it into the bucket they see it as a chance to dive in! The neighbors must think I’m crazy waving my arms and screeching to scare them off. Their run door is even open for them to free range but they would rather pick through poop! REALLY?!!!
Even once I’m done and all the poop is officially in the bucket, a group of the ladies hang around the edge of the bucket like they are nibbling on free appetizers at happy hour!
Well happy hour is over ladies and I need to drag your poop bucket to the compost pile where you will never see it again! Take that for all the extra time you add to my cleaning chores!
We have a daily ritual of cleaning the poop off the deck under the roosts. It should be a quick job but the girls like to make it difficult.
The 3 largest girls jockey for position as the mother hen and cover each other when the other 2 aren’t around. They are very protective of the other chickens. If we pick up a hen and she squabbles, 1 or all 3 of them run up and start pecking our legs!
When we clean in the coop we try to keep the girls outside with snacks or opening their run for free ranging, but some will stay in the nesting boxes or just hang out. When we start scraping off the poop deck those 3 big hens jump on the roosts and give me an ear full squawking like crazy! We can still get the work done but how protective do you have to be over poop! I don’t know whether to call it annoying or entertaining. You decide. The video below is on their YouTube channel.
I thought we were done with pasty butt when the baby chicks were a couple weeks old. I guess I was wrong! The hens are so fuzzy in the winter their butts look like giant cotton balls. It’s no wonder poop can get stuck in it!
As I let the hens out to free range one of the girls walked by with poop hanging off her downy feathers. I put on some gloves, grabbed some paper towels and tried to clean her off. Unfortunately, there was a lot more poop hidden deep within her feathers! To make it worse, much of the poop was dried up. It was time to bring in reinforcements! I got a dish tub of water and sat her her down in it. Luckily she didn’t fight or it could have gotten real ugly! When I pulled her up out of the water a lot of the poop fell off her into the tub. She quietly looked up as though saying “oh the humiliation!” After a number of paper towels we finally cleaned her up and patted her as dry as possible.
I felt so bad for her I gave her a handful of mealworms. She quickly perked up and probably forgot it ever happened!