It was touch-and-go for a couple weeks as our new, Barred Rock Bantams assimilated with the flock. Our Buff Orpingtons had to establish the pecking order. Fortunately, no one lost an eye, but there was some fowl play.
(Sorry, I had to go there : )
Now, a month later, coop life is good. The ladies enjoyed having a heat lamp over their water dish, to prevent ice. They started laying soon after the lamp went in and I'm not complaining. With eight birds, we're getting about 4 eggs per day. It's "warmed up" to the mid forties now, so the heat lamp is gone. I expect the Barred Rocks to begin laying in a month or so.
Today, I did my weekly coop check and noticed that the black and white checkered laminate flooring I have under the roost was tearing. Last summer, when I built the coop, I didn't want to pour a concrete floor, because I know myself. At some point, I may decide to move the entire coop 20 feet to the left. With a concrete floor, that would be difficult. I used laminate because it was cheap, it was easy to clean and it looked cute.
Today, I had to make a quick decision. I pulled up the laminate, grabbed 3 bags of 5/8 gravel I have saved for the water fountain installation and spread it in the coop.
The gravel fell through the hardware cloth, in between the pavers and bricks I used for the coop base. Then, I scraped up all the rocks that didn't fit through the chicken wire, and saved them for future projects.
I laid some new shavings down and welcomed the birds back into their newly renovated space.
Naturally, I used my rubber gloves, rather than my leather work gloves today, so my fingers are protesting.
My fingers, the unsung heros of the chicken coop.