Monday, January 19, 2015

Coop Cleaning Day

It's the middle of January and the weather has been SO WEIRD. It was below zero, in a deep freeze, with wind chills in the -40s....and then a week later, it's in the 40s. I'm thoroughly enjoying the 30-40 degree weather...but I find it rather annoying that the weather is flip flopping from subzero temps to nice, sunny warm temps. Make up your mind, would you?

Well, with this warm weather, the coop has thawed out a bit and it is all soggy and gross inside from all the chicken poop thawing out and their spilled water thawing out, etc. Their coop is just nasty. I got that cleaned out today finally.
Ready to clean the coop!

The ladies came in to inspect things.

Piper is in the nest box working hard at laying an egg.

I bought a thermometer for the coop :) 

They are loving the sun this week!

The birds were enjoying all of the old eggs I was finding when I cleaned the coop today.

Eric was gone this weekend on a fishing trip and I was home on Saturday. I went out to open the coop and I didn't secure the door properly and it was a windy day. The wind took the door and busted off our auto coop door. I had to scramble to fix it and the only thing I could find in the garage to cover the hole was this interesting painting. I bought it as a joke with chicken eggs, so it's only fair that the chickens get to enjoy it....haha. So now the coop has a little bit of color until we fix the door for real.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've found stashes of eggs behind the little straw hut I made for the chickens. The egg production never slowed down this winter, they were just hiding their eggs from me! I was so irritated! I found like 35 eggs hidden! Most of them were wasted because they had frozen and cracked open, so they were no good. They were thrown out. I have to keep checking behind the hut to clean out their stash again because they keep piling them up behind there. Today that hut came down! I found layers of eggs hiding behind their straw. Such naughty chickens and ducks! What a waste of eggs!
I'm pretty sure these two are plotting where to hide eggs next.

My ducks have finally started laying, too!! I was so excited about that! They started a week or so ago because one of the piles of eggs I threw out was full of the weird looking eggs, and yesterday I realized those were the duck eggs. Duck eggs are great for baking due to their higher fat content. I haven't tried to eat one yet. Maybe for lunch today I will and I'll report back.
The middle egg is a duck egg, the left is from a Barred Rock chicken, and the white egg is from a Leghorn chicken. 
The chickens/ducks laid a lot today again! 

I am currently on the hunt for someone to butcher my ducks in the fall. I have put an order in for some meat ducks and some more chickens, so I'm on the look out for a butcher now so I have one. I want to host Thanksgiving again and make roast duck! It is proving very difficult to find anyone to butcher ducks around here because they are hard to pluck. The closest plant that butchers all poultry to me is over 2 hours away!!! There is someone closer to me, but they will charge $10 per bird.

I was going to go to Duluth on Saturday but the roads were terrible. We got freezing rain over night and the roads were like an ice rink. On my way to Wheaton, I met fire trucks trying to rescue a snowplow that at tipped over in the ditch. That was my sign to turn around and go home. Yikes.


Well, until next time! :)