Each year as winter approaches I like to move the coop so that the hens have fresh ground as the winter cold and wet descends upon us. The coop my son built is uber sturdy, and we keep it inside a 10 x 10′ chain link fence safe from the foxes, coyotes and owls. The girls get let out quite often go enjoy the run of the yard, and go back in by themselves at night and I shut ’em in.
Moving the coop is a Thanksgiving tradition now, and a family affair. My boys all pitch in and move the coop to a new spot in the yard.
It’s a pretty heavy coop, so it definitely takes some elbow grease, muscles and the patience to go “a little to the right” or “a little to the left…”
My hens have had a rough couple of months. It started when two of our three new chicks turned out to be roosters. With only 6 hens to 2 roosters, the balance is way off. Looks like we got the right spot…it didn’t take long for them to check out the new digs!
Our most maternal hen – “Mama”, had successfully hatched 3 chicks in the Spring but they didn’t make it. When she goes broody, it’s serious business. This time she was trying to hatch eggs that weren’t fertilized. It was heart wrenching…she stayed in that nesting box for probably 5 weeks. I would hand feed her and try to get her out and about, but she had one mission and one mission only.
At any rate, the roos seem to have brought an element of aggression and disarray to the flock that affected the egg production. Now that winter is coming, it’s time to move the coop to a fresh spot where they can settle down for the winter and get cozy. They look pretty excited!
Our chickens started out as a little project with my granddaughters. Little did I know how much a part of my daily life they would become. We have had them about three years now and they are a ton of work, but, oddly, I love them! They are so gentle and look so bucolic when they are roaming around my yard. And the eggs are amazing! So fun.
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