Chickens and the Garden

Chickens_11_Sep_11_DSCF0846The picture on the left is of out chicken coop and pen.  I spent last Sunday getting the chicken coop and pen ready for winter.  I covered the top of the pen with tarps, and only have the roof of the coop to cover now.  I may leave the cop on next summer, as with the rain we had since July, the pen was starting to smell.  We have had rain almost every day for the last month and a half, with just a few sunny or otherwise non-rainy days in between.  I usually put grass clippings in the pen, then rake them up the next time I mow the lawn.  However, with non-stop rain, I did not mow, and the clippings matted with chicken droppings and mud, resulting in a very bad smell.  Thankfully, it was sunny for part of last week, and I was able to clean things up.  The pen smells good again.

Two of out 5 chickens are laying.  The other three should start any week now.  My Copper Black Marans started laying last week, with a bit of a scare just prior to that.  She was a bit lethargic, shook when she closed her eyes, and had yellow poop.  After two days, she improved, and now all is well. 

Chicken and pen pictures:

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A double yolk from the Marans:

The garden is slowly dying, but we still have flowers that are blooming.  I have 4 varieties of hops growing, and I have flowers.  However, they will more than likely not have time to mature, so no hops for beer this year.  Maybe next? 

Garden pics:

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I am planning my garden for next Spring.  I plan to plant a bit earlier, since my vegetable garden is complete.  I will also plant at least twice the amount of carrots next year, as we are running out already.  My onions did very well, and we did not loose any to maggots, which is a first.  Potatoes were not that great this year, probably to the excessive rain we had.

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