I did this today.
I did not take it clear down to wood except around where the waterer was.... but I pulled out the old feed, starling poop, etc. etc. etc. and smoothed everything out. Goodness, I had about four yard cart loads that I pulled across the yard to the compost area.
Then, I rebedded with straw. This is going to cause me a big problem... the hens are going to lay and I will not be able to see the eggs, so I foresee a lot of crawling in and out.
These three backed into the farthest corner when I started putting the straw in. I don't understand Silka's fear, she has been on straw most of her life. The little rooster began to walk through it, clucking to the two girls though, after a few minutes. I took a good look at him later... he has the worst case of scaly leg mite I've ever seen. I'm going to crawl in there tomorrow and clean the roosts good, but they really don't use them much. I have been treating him, and will continue to. We've had good luck in the past with treating it.
The Naughty Girls were like "Yeeha! Straw!" and went in and started moving it around.
Then I started the big henhouse, coop side.
I saved the feed room side for the kids next weekend.
Here's the feed room gang in the coop side... they never get to play ouside (though Reddy does go out sometimes, but then wants back in with Butch. Even Butch went over to walk in the straw quietly, so that Rambo didn't hear and come in. I sat and watched them for a while so they were safe, and then decided to bring some straw in for them. I put it below the nursing cage (egg laying cage!) and they had a good time playing with it.
Keith tells me that next weekend will be roofing weekend for the new henhouse. Once the roof is on, the rest of it will go pretty quickly. We have received a bid from a company for chain link fence around it, and we'll tie-wrap chicken wire to it.
Finally, at 3, I went out side to do the llama trough and the outside pen. This is how the sky looked:
This is to the west-northwest. The clouds loomed large, it started blowing, and the cottonwoods on the side of Troy's pond started swaying. I actually got a little scared when Rambo led all the hens back into the big henyard, and went into the henhouse. You know we have been in the middle of a severe weather watch all day long. Now, at 9:56 PM, I can hear thunder in the distance. I have all the dogs in, and Keith has just laid down after checking his state blackberry all evening for storm events. Tornados have been spotted numerous times this afternoon south of us, but the brunt of the storm is not to reach here until between midnight and 3 AM. I have to admit I am very nervous, and will stay up for a while. I went out to check the turkeys... they roost outside. The red is on the roof of the little henhouse, and Sherman is on the doghouse in that pen... but Grant is separate from him still, because they tried to fight again through the fence today. Grant is in the four x four pen in the big henyard, it is tarped and there is a hutch in there he can lumber up into if he needs to. At least the tarp can shelter him a little.
After I took the cloudy picture, the bad clouds blew over and it cleared a little, so I jumped on the mower and cut grass for an hour. Then I came in and showered, and Keith had fixed a wonderful Saturday night dinner of home-made sloppy joes. It was delicious (I ate it in a bowl instead of a bun) and so good after the hard afternoon of work.
I'm going to stay up for a while and check on the weather, and say a little prayer for all those souls who died a hundred years ago tonight on Titanic in the cold water of the North Atlantic.
Linking to Farmchick's Farm Photo Friday, on Saturday night!
(Still can't get the videos to load to YouTube... I need HELPPPPP)