The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Grounded in the tractor

Rhode Island Red

Egg gatheringThe good news is, Project Shut-in got all of our hens laying in the nest boxes within 48 hours. Clean, copious eggs at my fingertips --- what a treat!

The bad news is that two of our pullets absolutely refused to be broken of the habit of roosting outside the coop. Luckily, their favored perch was low enough that Mark could lift them inside at sunset every day, but it offends my sense of order to have hens where they don't belong. Okay, their unruliness is bad for the homestead too since those hens ended up in pastures that are supposed to be resting the fall garden.

So Mark fixed up our rickety old chicken tractor, and I put the two bad girls in a more extended time out. It's a bit tough to tell if it was always the same Buff Orpington and Rhode Island Red who were fans of open-air roosting, so I won't know if this project is a success for a few days. Fingers crossed....

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We have six illicit backyard hens (shhh! City ordinance violation!) and they roam the privacy fenced back yard by day browsing. Some evenings, the three large birds always try and roost on some lattice fence by the back kitchen window. I just look at them and start to walk that way, they start "grumbling" and get down, slooooooly wend their way back to the coop, which now has light on a timer this time of year.

The other three birds were these crazy bantam ("baynie") mixes my inlaws in Wise VA gave me. I had to severely clip the wings, and they want to roost up anywhere they can. They run like roadrunners too.

Some evenings they all surprise me by going in, most, well they need some persuasion!

At least the few eggs I get (wife does not understand they are livestock and not pets, won't let me get rid of the non layers) are always in the nest box.

Comment by Eric Tue Oct 27 17:23:05 2015

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