A couple of years back, my 3 hens moved from their portable Chicken Ark to some swanky digs here at City Boy Hens. It was kinda’ like the Jefferson’s, but this time it was my three hens who were “movin’ on up!” The Portable Ark worked well, as it provided my hens with some space to “free range” and an upper level to roost and lay eggs, but it was a pain in the butt to move around the yard each day.
So with hammer, nails, screws and wood, I built them a home that was fit for Queens. I meticulously constructed their coop/run; adding insulation, electricity and 2 nest boxes. I know that some of you may think that the 2 nest boxes was overkill for three hens, but the last thing I wanted to do was make one of my girls have to wait in line in order to deposit her daily offering. Besides, …….I know what it’s like at the cottage with only 1 bathroom. Inventing a new dance move in front of a locked bathroom door is no way to start the day while a relaxed occupant casually thumbs through a 3-year-old tattered magazine.
Anyways…..I built 2 nest boxes for the hens and proceeded to line those boxes and the bottom of the coop with fluffy aromatic wood shavings. The shavings in the nest box would make a great landing pad for the eggs and the shavings on the coop floor would make poop pickin’ up a whole lot easier.
As it turns out, Swifer, (YES IT IS THAT DAMN HEN AGAIN) has chosen to not make any distinction between the wood shavings in the nest box and those on the coop floor. In fact, I think she feels the coop floor IS HER NEST BOX because she deposits her egg on the coop floor EVERY morning. But worst of all, she had taught Rosie that this practice is acceptable.
I am proud to say that I have managed to “re-train” Rosie to use the nest box by always keeping a plastic egg in one of the boxes, but Swifer ain’t gettin’ fooled by that trick. In fact, she goes into the nest box and pecks that plastic egg until she has turfed it out on to the floor of the coop!
“OK Swifer…..it’s the beginning of a New Year and with it comes the opportunity to bid the past goodbye and to start anew. How ’bout you start laying that “ping-pong poor excuses you call an egg” up in the nest box and I’ll stop decorating the coop walls with pictures of great tasting chicken noodle soup recipes! Deal?????????????????????”
I do have my doubts……..It’s hard to teach an old chicken new tricks!
Happy New Year To All!