The day spa is a double size hoop shelter with a window facing south. That window makes all the difference. They bask in the rays of the sun while being sheltered from the snow and wind. When winter was here in full force, the ducks and geese in the spa raised the temperature considerably as well. The ducks and geese slept there in the winter, out of the elements. At one point when we got quite a bit of snow, the roof began to sway and I had to knock all the snow from it and prop it up inside, just in case.
These hens are 4-5 years old, the purebreds, and the cross breds are 1 to 2 years old. I will have most of them butchered at the end of the summer because I have new stock ordered. New Chanteclers, Ameraucanas and Cream Legbars will be hatched from eggs coming up from Calgary in April. Then they will be brooded in the granary out back of the little farmhouse, until they are old enough to join the chickens in the coop. Some will be sold too. Cream legbars lay sky blue eggs, Ameraucanas lay blue green eggs and white Chanteclers lay light brown eggs. The Partridge Chanteclers will likely be kept on, but I have not found a rooster in that breed yet, so they will marry the Ameraucana and the Chantecler roo.
Chickens provide bug control here and forage through the composting manure piles in the barn yard. The breeds are excellent foragers. In the summer, they are fed at the end of the day and must forage all day long. ON good days they eat very little grain because they are full of bugs and grass, the way it should be. Though the birds are tough when they are butchered, they are incredibly tasty and make the finest soups. I thank the chickens for their work and their eggs. I do appreciate them very much, even though they are not my favourite critters on the farm. They have a job to perform and they do it well. Today they were enjoying the sun at the spa, just like ladies do everywhere, clucking away to the other girls!