Hot Times In The Henhouse.

There is something interesting going on in the hen coop…

 Over the winter I use a technique called deep bedding in the coop.  I don’t empty the coop of shavings, only turn over the old with a pitchfork and add fresh shavings to the top.  I currently have approx 12 inches of bedding in the coop, my head is beginning to brush the rafters!  Three really cool things about deep bedding are: 1) I don’t have to muck it out during the cold months, 2) the bedding is actually composting in the coop-generating heat, 3) the hens actually glean nutrition from the litter (some really interesting studies from the 40’s showing increased weights of birds on new bedding versus deep litter). 

I spent some time freshening up the coop late last week, using the pitchfork to turn over and mix all the bedding before adding new stuff.  I was really happy to see clouds of warm vapor rising off the bedding into the cold air.  Placing my hand into the litter and it is warm to the touch.  I am also seeing alot of new scratching and hunting/pecking through the litter-concentrated in the area which is the warmest.  I cannot see what they are after though…fungi? bits of fresh compost?  It is interesting to observe and I forgive them for kicking the bedding around and making a big hilly mess.  I just need to more the waterer to a different corner so they won’t kick bedding into the clean water and fill the feeder with bedding!


One response to “Hot Times In The Henhouse.

  • Judy

    I found that no matter where I put the waterer, they have scratched bedding into it. And we put it on top of a paving block and it’s up high on the heated base. They must really get into their scratching.
    We’re supposed to have a really warm day here so I need to make time to go out and rake up the bedding again. Thanks for the reminder.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: