Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cleaning The Pen- Winter Time

Living in Upstate NY when I say we got a lot of snow, it means we really got a lot of snow. We are looking at about eleven inches of accumulation. Which seeing as the chickens stand at about twelve inches tall creates a problem when it is the day to change their bedding in the pen. While their breed is cold hardy and they would be perfectly fine for a short amount of time outside, at this point there is no denying how spoiled they are so outside wasn't an option. We debated putting them in the bathroom but that just grossed me out. The final decision was to lay down a bunch of newspapers, and I would "babysit" the girls with treats while Jeff cleaned. This worked great for about ten minutes. Jeff went upstairs to get the soap when he heard me scream, the metal dust pan go across the floor, a chicken squawk, and me scream again. By the time he got back downstairs, I was putting them into the dog carrier threatening that I would serve them for dinner tonight! What happened was, Cluck (who else would it be?) pecked my hand right between my fingers and drew blood, to establish dominance in the pecking order I hit her, she fell down and landed on the metal dust pan which she knocked over when she got up and as I put my other hand down on the floor to get myself up I realized that I had put my hand in a warm pile of poop Scabby had left for me. Wonderful! I cleaned myself up and Jeff finished with the pen while the girls waited in the dog carrier. Even though they didn't make me very happy today, I couldn't help myself but to give them a treat of an apple while they waited. Just like a dog or cat, even when they are naughty we do still love them.

Another positive development- we had my parents over for dinner (it was vegetarian I promise!) And when my parents went downstairs to visit the "basement farm." My dad was able to find my worms! It turns out they had all crawled to the very very bottom just past where I had looked yesterday. We pulled them out and circulated them through the entire mixture to hopefully get them eating the kitchen scraps.

Despite the mishaps, it was a successful day. The pen is cleaned up for the girls, the worms were rediscovered, I think the little algae eaters are starting to do their job, and we had a wonderful evening with my parents.