Saturday, September 13, 2014

Luxury boxes, chicken style

For us humans, they're the best in-person way to watch a sporting event. For hens, on the other hand, they're a place to lay one's eggs in relative comfort and safety. Since Rosemary has found two miniature "first" eggs on the ground in the last few days, this weekend's project was a significant upgrade to our chicken stadium.

There are five luxury boxes in all. They're not air conditioned, and we don't plan to offer hors d'oeuvres, but they're pretty spiffy nonetheless.

I had originally planned eight boxes, four below and four above. Mid-project, however, Rosemary noted that my boxes were a little big, and that we probably didn't need that many. The four below thus became five. And instead of upper boxes, I built a slanted top to keep off errant roosters (that is, chicken who are roosting, not necessarily males). At some point, I could easily add an upper row if it's needed.

I'm a little concerned it's too far off the ground. I wanted it significantly off the ground to avoid rodent problems, but I might have gone a little overboard (aboveboard?). If the hens don't take to it, I'll build a bridge from their roost to the boxes.

Looking to the future egg-wise... The hen (or two?) who has (have?) started to lay is (are?) at least a few weeks early. My best guess is that egg production won't exceed our own needs for at least a month. Within two months, though, I project that we'll be producing five dozen more eggs per week than we will be able consume. Rosemary and I are looking at a few options. We may choose to sell through the FFA program at my school. We're also planning to put an "eggs available" sign in the front yard. But if you're interested in being a regular egg customer, do let me know. We're looking for people who can commit to at least a dozen eggs a week.

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