Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chickens, Litter & the Cold

Although it's been incredibly mild again this week & the chickens have actually been spotted outside the coop!

Since the weather turned and the snow started to fall the chickens haven't wanted out. I leave their door open half way so they can go out & play in the snow. We've had no takers (not a track in the snow!).

So, since we've gone for the deep litter method, to keep the chickens from getting 'bored' at dinner time I fill up their feeders with layer food but then throw some cracked corn around.

This does a few things, one is that it makes sure the little guys get dinner too (they're doing very well in the coop!). It also helps prevent squabbles over dinner because everyone can space themselves out and either eat at the feeder or off the floor.

Lastly it gives all the chickens something to do for the day. They pick off the top layer of feed but then they'll start scratching around through the litter looking for the last little bits. This also turns our lovely deep litter compost regularly.

The turning helps keep the bacteria aerated as it breaks down the litter so the chicken coop doesn't smell (the turkey front does, but the back doesn't). As well as preventing the litter from getting really packed down in high-traffic areas (which will also make it easier to clean in the spring).
Bachelor Pad

The turkeys go out for a bit every day, and run around and make funny tracks in the snow, then come back in. They don't peck and scratch at the litter like the chickens do so I've found the deep litter isn't working as well for them. Uggo (the cross billed chick) and JR-Roo are living with them, and just the two of them isn't enough to turn up that space properly. So I'm at a bit of loss of what to do with them.

No comments:

Post a Comment