This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

cleaning the coop

Today I cleaned out my chicken coop for the first time. I've had the 3 girls since nov 20, so that's exactly 2 weeks. I have a remote thermometer in the coop and it's been registering higher humidity every day and was up to 90%, even on a dry day. So I got my flat edgeding shovel, my green garden trug, and sooped out all the poopy wood shavings. It nearly filled up my compost bin. yeah! I am going to have great compost this winter even if I have no eggs.

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Blogger Connie said...

Wow, that compost is going to be awesome... but it sounds like it's time for a bigger compost bin/pile.

December 05, 2013 5:02 AM

Blogger Linda from CT said...

Hi Kathy, I just started a flock myself. I received them as day old chicks in April. Although I am not an expert at all I have done a lot of reading and it bothered me all day that you had high humidity in your coop on a dry day. Many chicken keepers use the deep litter method- they don't clean out their coops all winter because it provides warmth for the chickens. I have a dual thermometer in mine and I haven't cleaned mine out since early September. I have 4 hens and a 4 x 6 coop that is atleast 6 feet high. I use a cat litter scooper each morning and scoop it out. I live two blocks from the New Haven harbor and my coop appears to be normal humidity. I read anything under 60% is okay but I don't worry about it when it's damp or raining and over 60 %. Even when it's very cold I make sure I have cross ventilation. Don't want to worry about frostbite.

I'm wondering if you have a small coop you may not have enough vents or large enough vents. It just doesn't sound right that you had to clean your coop out with 3 pullets in 2 weeks!

Btw, I think some breeds lay all winter and some don't. I have two cuckoo Marans and one of them started laying at 16 weeks! But neither lays now. My Barred Rock and my buff Orpington are still laying almost every day. It's so much fun! And you get all that great poop! ;-)

December 06, 2013 9:31 PM

Blogger Lara said...

I also have 3 gals and have noticed chickens add a lot of moisture! Usually I clean once a week on the weekends and can tell by Friday that things are in need of a going over with my rabbits and also the chicken area--which right now is in the barn with the rabbits since that's where it's warmest right now. I've seen the deep bedding method in practice, and while it works for some, it isn't for everyone. I've never used it with any of my animals because I've seen that it attracts rodents-at least in a rural setting...and I hate rodents in my barn! Plus with rabbits they are very sensitive to waste odors and can get respiratory problems easier when it accumulates. Cleaning isn't a problem, especially because I love compost helpers. My garden area will be expanding in the spring and I’m hoping that I can use all my own compost to do it. We’ll see! Crossing my figures your gals will start laying for you soon :-). One of my young birds started this week---very exciting!

December 07, 2013 3:17 PM


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