Today I spent some time arranging the ‘behind the scenes’ area of the chicken pen- you know, the area that is used to store feed, bedding and cleaning things you don’t really want to see? I now have a little system I’m quite happy with. The chicken feed is kept securely in a large bin at the back of the coop and now I have placed a second bin in the same area for sawdust used for bedding, There is also a bucket and shovel so I can clean out the coop easily and carry the waste over to the composting bin.
Both bins had recently been emptied when we moved in so I have decided that the bin on the left is for kitchen waste and the bin on the right is for chicken and ferret waste. Ferret waste includes soiled newspapers at the moment while the new ferret is housed separately from Forest and Bramble. I think this will take some time to rot down and prefer the idea of keeping the animal poop separate form the kitchen waste and give it more time to decompose.
The system makes life a little easier because I don’t have to negotiate the style with things for the chickens frequently. The chicken pen is located over the other side of the fenced area of the wood which we call ‘the garden’. This area is about 1 acre in size and circles around the house, parking area and entrances to the shed and workshop. It’s far enough away from most areas to not be an eyesore but it is a pain having to carry everything over the style to reach the chickens. In autumn the style is very slippy and even more so when covered in ice in winter. There is a gate further down but the journey would be much further.
The fenced off area is supposed to keep Paddy the dog in, giving him a large area to roam at his own free will. However, it has only taken him three years to discover he can jump over the fence (and get to the bitch next door who has been on heat for a few weeks!). So the fence will need raising to keep the long-legged hound in. The style would need to be even higher when this happens so we plan to make another gate from the garden area straight into the chicken pen (when we find some time, wherever it is) instead.
From the garden area the chicken bins and compost bins can’t be seen which I am happy about. The compost bins are located just the other side of the fence, behind the large aviary, so we can reach over to fill them easily from the garden side.
If you have chickens I would love to hear about your ‘set up’ and routine for keeping them.