Sunday, February 7, 2010

More About the Birds and the Playhouse

Last time I wrote about the playhouse, I hadn't finished it.  I guess it's finished now, so I should finish writing about it.  I'm not sure whether what I did is good or bad, so as I discover, I'll let you know.  You can see the main inside components in this picture, so let's talk about them.

The nesting box is the 2 beehive pieces with a piece of old molding attached to the front, resting on top of an upside down recycling container I found in the shed.  It's hard to see, but I drilled 2 holes on each side of the window and pulled wire through to hold the beehive parts to the wall (keep them from falling off the recycling container when a bird sits on the ledge).

I found a stick outside (really?  In the woods?  A stick?), and wedged it diagonally across for the roost.

The light is a 40 watt, normal light (not a heat lamp), attached to something on the inside wall that I don't know what it is, and pointed up.

The food and water dishes are what Agway had, and they take up a bunch of space.  I think I should be raising them off the ground.  I've got an immersion heater (that I can't immerse), in a pan underneath the water, so the water dish is resting on top of the heater.  It didn't completely work last night, but for goodness' sake it was 2 degrees last night!

And that's it folks!  These are Delaware hens, which is a heavy breed (and they make big eggs ... I hear).  They've figured out where the food is, so they're eating now - a lot!

What might be bad:
-I've read that heavy birds should get 3-4 square feet per bird of space.  These birds would have 2.something if there was nothing on the floor.  It's really like 1.something since I've used up so much floor space with the nesting box and the food/water.
-There's only one nesting box and that may not be enough for 5 birds.

What's good:
-these are a docile breed, so they don't seem to be getting too upset with the frequent observation visits from me and the dogs.

We'll see how it goes.  Like any first-time mom, I'm semi-terrified about pretty much everything.  I'm going out tonight for a few hours and I think I'm going to keep the dogs inside, away from the birds.  Tomorrow, when I go to work, the options are to lock them all the way outside in the snow and cold, or take my chances and let them stay on the porch like they always do.  I've got about 15 hours to figure that one out!


  1. If you need chicken advice or ideas...feel free to give us a ring! my e-mail is rugbplayr at yahoo dot com

  2. That picture of the chicken on the stick roost with the fireplace on the wall in the background with a roaring fire really cracks me up! It gives the illusion that they're all snug and warm in there and that they can snuggle up next to the fire and drink hot cocoa. heehee! I'm sure they are snug and warm, but the fire just looks funny!