poor dumb bird

Ron found one of the (not so) “Little” Girls under the big plastic bin in the coop this morning. No worries — she was fine, but poor dumb bird.

When we set up the chicken coop, Ron built three nest boxes out of wood. They look a bit like those horizontal shoe cubbies: three boxes in a row. Obviously that means a big piece of flat wood on top. And that means great potential for a bunch of chicken poop building up on top.  Yuck.

Consequently, we took an old plastic bin–one of those long, flat bins that are supposed to go under beds–and put it on top. Added some straw and voila! Another nest box! It has worked great because it blocks the wood on top (less poop) and it’s easy to take the plastic bin outside, dump out the straw, hose out in the interior, and put fresh straw in. Easy-peezy.

Annie, Emma, and White Tail had been sleeping perched on the edge of the plastic bin for most of their time with us. Not quite sure how three chickens sitting 1-2-3 in a row on one side of the bin doesn’t end up tipping it over. Light birds…

But a week or two ago two of them started heading up to the roost to sleep at night. They don’t sleep on the very top roost with the Big Girls. Smart since the Big Girls squabble and fight over who gets to sleep where, and you are too close to me, peck peck, and I want to be over there by Hawkeye, but hey, you’re in my way, let me try to crawl under you, and you’re too close to me, peck peck, why don’t you scoot a few inches over there… [ <– all this in chicken speak, of course].

Anyway. The two Little Girls have calmly and wisely put themselves on one of the middle rungs of the wood ladder that Ron built between the middle and high roost.  (Yes, there will be a test on the geography of the chicken coop.)

But that left one Little Girl alone on her plastic bin!

Ron can’t quite tell Annie and Emma apart so he’s not sure if the solo chickie is Annie or Emma. It’s definitely not White Tail because she’s a really dark red/brown by now. I tend not to put the chickens to bed at night so I haven’t seen who it is. I suspect it’s Emma because she seems to be maturing a bit more slowly (she is the last one to keep making chickie peeps). Annie has been a bit more social and autonomous from day 1.

This morning Mystery Chick was under the plastic bin because she had somehow flipped it and ended up under it. She may have been under there for 30 seconds. Or all night. We don’t know. Ron said she wasn’t anxious or upset or stressed when he picked up the box. Maybe it was nice and cozy in there. But they’ve flipped the plastic bin several times the past week or two so we’re taking the plastic bin out of the coop for now so Mystery Chick doesn’t spend the night under the bin–again.

But that means a high likelihood of beaucoup chicken poop on top of the nest boxes. Blech!

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