Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I learned by Day 2 of chicken sitting


A few thoughts 48 hours after taking my chicken sitting job:
  • My light-bulb/brick/water warming system works, but leaks light. I wonder if this will affect these very light sensitive birds?

  • A 60-watt bulb will keep water from freezing in above 0 degrees F temperatures.
  • A 100-watt bulb will do the job down to (at least) -17 F.
  • Eggs will freeze in this weather. The coop we design will somehow keep eggs from freezing. THOUGHTS?
  • Bending down to work at ground level is for the birds. I want whatever we create to be waist high and easy to access.
  • Three chickens in a rather small space seem to be able to keep one another warm at just about any temperature!
  • When I go in the yard, the chickens hear or see me and come out into the run to greet me (ok, let's be honest, I was carrying food too!) Getting them back into the coop for the nightly lockup was impossible in the current set up. I want a coop that doesn't require a door to shut them in at night but access that provides predator safety and a wind break.
  • When we go away for one or two nights, I want to be able to let the chickens be without a sitter. This means automatic water and food. I'm thinking about the Le Bistro cat feeder we have as a viable food option.
My friend Betsy send me a bunch of suggestions based on the coop she has. If you have suggestion about what you would have done different, please share them! We'd all like to hear.