Here’s for my friend P, who I am slowly convincing to keep chooks. The upstairs is sleeping and egg production quarters. Under the shelf that holds the nest boxes is an open hole that has a ladder down to the eating and digging quarters. They let themselves down and that’s where they spend their time when I am not home.
I had planned to move this around the yard, but really the yard is too tiny. If I could move it, then I would probably just leave the chips on the ground floor in place. As it is, once a week I shovel it out and spread those chips plus poo on my roses, who seem to like it. The majority of the manure seems to be produced at night, and that goes to a friend’s compost.
In the evening when I am home, I let them out to roam the yard, so maybe four days a week they get time out of the coop. The advantage of letting them out in the evening is that when it is dark they put themselves to bed. I still need to figure some way to hang the water, as they sometimes dump it over. When that happens they do not lay the next day, and they look so pathetic drinking quickly and thirstily when I discover them.
Chickens are probably the easiest of the pets in cages I have kept. They have a lot of personality, or maybe I just had low expectations of them, what with the bird brain thing. Much more fun than a rat or a parakeet, and they lay eggs.