Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Thursday 5 February 2009

Making the chickens nice and cosy.

When the warning of snow came last weekend I decided I couldn't put it off any longer, we had to move the hen run.

The Eglu is on a dry patch of ground, as is the Broody Ark but Cluckingham Palace was getting very soggy and I didn't want the girls to be treading around in a swamp, especially if they had to be confined inside during the possible future bad weather.

So...on Sunday we moved Cluckingham Palace. It is not a difficult or heavy job but it IS time consuming

You can see where it was, the ladder-y thing is the "hen board" I put down for the hens to stand on. You can also see what a mess the area is!

As always, as soon as ANY work starts, chickens appear to see what is going on!

While we were out there working on Cluckingham Palace, Compostman put up another of his brilliant inventions. This allows a non Eglu run to use the Eglu drinker or feeder (called Glug or Grub, respectively!) and this is an absolute brainwave of his!

He took a piece of aluminium channel, screwed it to the inside of the door and so I can now hook the Omlet "Glug" onto it! He did a similar thing up the other end of the run for the "Grub" and it is much better than the suspended feeder I had in the run, before. The girls waste much less food as the Grub stops them throwing it everywhere now.

Cluckingham Palace moved and alterations completed, I then added a thick layer of Easybed (wood shavings) to the ground in all three runs and also a lot of hay near the pop holes, this is to soak up the water and so the chickens have drier feet when they go inside to lay eggs.

And I put down paths of hay for us to walk on, over the mud.

After the snow we have had this week, we went out and added a different clear polythene cover to the run today, as it was getting quite snowy in the run, despite the cover which WAS on. This one goes over the whole run, not just the top! It is very easy for me to undo and roll up as well, so I can get into the side door and top up the water or the dish feeder which is up that end of the run.

The girls are nice and dry and cosy now AND they can see out! Here is Genghis Hen not wanting to leave the comfort of the run early today. Hopefully the chickens will all be warm and cosy even if we DO have more bad weather.

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