Roosts and Berries

July 5th, 2010

It’s that time again where we could use some rain.  We received about 20 minutes worth yesterday which was really nice for a quick refresher.  The chickens hid out in their coop during the rain.   I had to laugh at them the other night.  At first I wondered if I would have to train them to go inside their coop.   Thus far it was a trick or treat affair of offering scratch, chasing them and catching them nearly by hand to get them back inside the other shed.   Now I’ve nearly got the run up and it was almost dark when I went out to close them up in the new coop… lo and behold they were inside on the roosts!

I just installed the roosts that day- removable 2×4’s, wide side up.   So there’s nine chickens on the top roost, and one lonely hen on that lower roost!   They’re packed side by side on a five foot roost… too funny.  I’ll probably put a third lower roost in there.  I imagine when they get even bigger they’ll need more room.

The one hen on that lower roost is Brownie… I think she’s at the very bottom of the chicken  pecking order.  I’ve noticed that not only the roosters, but all the other hens chase and peck at her, and she is a little smaller than the rest.  Probably gets pushed around at dinner time too.   But she’s also a smart one… when I let them out in the morning, she stays behind and finishes eating without being picked on.

The night after this picture, guess who was the first one inside the coop at dusk, and sitting right on that top roost?  Yep.  Brownie… she’s really thinking ahead of the rest :)    And yes, there were ten silly chickens on that top five foot roost, wedged together nice and cozy.

In hindsight, perhaps the coop is a little small for nine chickens.  Technically it has enough “square feet” of space, etc, etc.  But it should probably have been bigger, or used with fewer hens.  Once again- I am reminded about “The best laid plans…”  With that in mind, I recommend checking out some excellent chicken coop plans here because it might help you make better planning decisions than I did!

Looks like I may have to sink another post for the chicken run however.   For whatever reason, one of the end posts really warped over the past few weeks.  I tried to brace it, straighten it and think of how to use it effectively… but it’s supposed to be the hinge post for the gate.   I know it’s pretty common for posts to warp or twist slightly, but not enough to worry about.  This one went crazy and ended up bending about 4 inches from the bottom to the top.   We’ll see…   Heck, I may still use it if the hinges can reach.    If I do pull it out, I  should knock the cement off and take it back!

It’s also time to pick a few goodies, including the ripening blackberries.  We picked some of our own and the boy needed a container… so he borrowed my hat.  Now it has little purple stains inside :)

That morning we had blackberry pancakes! They were tasty… but these were mine.   Yes, that’s an egg in the middle!  I love my egg and pancakes together, even with a little hot sauce, maybe potatoes, sausage…   the boy thinks I’m gross.   Then again his preferred menu is basically white or yellow in color, without involving eggs… spaghetti, macaroni, pancakes, bagels, pizza.   Thankfully he does like a good salad and a few well-seasoned veggies.

Last week I cheated on the wild blackberries by taking the boy to a local farm whose berries are huge. A little sweeter too, and just the ticket for a pie. Don’t you just love summer?!

9 Responses to “Roosts and Berries”

  1. Love the berry pickin’ container…very stylish!

    I had one hen so picked on I had to put her in with the ducks or I’m sure she would have been killed! Kim

  2. Ha! those chickens are so funny. Yeah, little Brownie might be one smart cookie, for a chicken anyway. ;)

    I assume your posts are pressure treated; it can warp pretty bad sometimes, especially if it was still real wet when you got it. But even dry, once it’s out of the bundle that stuff can go anywhere. We got some on the job that you could make rocking chairs out of.

  3. Ed

    I had forgotten until reading your blog but our chickens were always the same way. They loved to pack themselves in tight on their favorite roost which is our case was a wooden rod maybe an inch and a half in diameter. It always seemed that one would fly up and proceed to knock two or three off only to have them fly up and repeat the process. It took them forever to all get up there and settle down.

  4. They look quite comfortable. I’m sure they’re enjoying the new digs.


  5. I don’t suppose you could brace the post. But it does seem that the post wasn’t turned while it was drying leaving a pocket of damp to one side.

  6. Kim- Thanks; I was surprised how so many picked on just the one…
    Annie- Yes, they were treated, and probably a little damp when I bought them. Rocking chairs, ha. This one too… go figure. The strange part is that other post from a different store didn’t move a bit.
    Ed- That is funny- maybe these are the same; I haven’t watched them getting up there… :)
    Randall- As Ron said… they like it so much they’ve pooped all over it to make it home!
    Vincent- Could be, I think they were still a little damp when I brought them home, and I turned them a bit but maybe not enough. But after standing in the ground in cement, and in the sun for weeks, it just started bending like crazy. I wondered if there was a knot or something weird about the cut?

  7. Holy moley you are brave (or crazy?) for allowing anyone to put blackberries in your hat! I have specific berry picking clothes I wear as that stuff never comes out!

    Let’s see some pics of the harvest! And what comes after!

  8. Damp is one thing Beau, raw is a fish of a different colour.

  9. Love the berries. Ours are just starting to come in now. Strawberries were a disappointment, although delicious, but the raspberries and blackberries look like they will be bountiful and are also already delicious. All the rain and sun mix no doubt.

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