Friday, February 16, 2007

Chicken en Croute and Egg Thief

If you've landed here looking for a chicken with crust recipe, keep googling because this is a chicken coop encrusted in ice.

I haven't had time to work on the new chicken tractor/coop. The only thing different from my last post is that it's encrusted in ice. It may only look like snow on the top, but it's very icy and solid. It still needs wheels. If the wheels were already on, I could have easily moved it into the garage for the recent ice and snow storm, but it's habitable so other priorities win out for now and it sits on bricks instead of wheels.

I'm now toying with the idea of adding a third door. This would be a chicken size door so that the chickens could come and go during the day, but the large egg thief shown below couldn't get inside. Better dog training would be an alternative to the door and I'm considering it also. I've been kind of letting the egg stealing slide because he's been pretty good with the chickens lately. He wasn't always and there have been past problems chasing chickens. When a dog chases chickens, the chickens panic and flap a lot and that seems to elicit even more prey instinct in the dog. It becomes a bad and vicious circle with potentially fatal results for the chickens. The other day, watching from the window, I saw him mostly inside this new coop with chickens still inside it. I held my breath. Eighty pounds of dog and panicking chickens inside a coop this small would be ugly. He slowly backed out with an egg in his mouth. I exhaled. I guess it's better eating eggs rather than chickens, but eating neither would be best.

With the old raised coop, he only ate eggs that I put aside and forgot. I didn't realize that making the new coop low would give him access to the eggs and that I'd create yet another dog training opportunity for myself.

Kahlil eating an egg he just stole from the nest box. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the feather that came with it that's tickling his nose


  1. Oh... Naughty boy! He should fetch found eggs to you... Still, he is looking good and that egg will be good for him. We sometimes get hens laying in odd places and most of the dogs are good about letting us know where to look for these. Unfortunately, Cinnamon, Kahlil's father, tends to leave small breaks in the eggs he carries. He isn't quite gentle enough with them.

  2. Over on my Sugar Mountain Farm blog on the Little Pig's Tale post you asked about how the it went in the blizzard.

    Slaughtering in the blizzard was not as bad as it could be, worse than I wanted it to be. I ended up going more slowly by far as my hands got so cold I didn't have the fine sense of touch I needed. Sharp knives are good as long as they are cutting the right thing.

    The good thing was that the kill was instant and perfect so she did not suffer from that. Little Pig is the largest animal I've ever killed, by far, and I had a fear of botching her killing such that she would end up in more pain. I am glad I was able to do it right.