EJ’s company is banning overtime for now so he had Friday off. I did laundry and made granola while EJ made bread and our first ever attempt to make yogurt in the Instant Pot. The yogurt turned out well–it was very tasty, especially with my granola mixed in.
This afternoon I went out and cleaned the chicken coop, taking out all the dirty straw and replacing it with new. I also reconfigured the coop a bit. I’m always tweaking. Usually, I don’t do any of the cleaning or tweaking until warmer weather–because the poop freezes in cold weather and also the mat of straw on the floor helps insulate the coop. However, our winter has been milder than normal, the poop wasn’t frozen, the chickens were laying their eggs in not-so-great places, and the coop was beginning to get a stronger ammonia smell–probably from the cats. So it was time.
It snowed a little this afternoon, but the temperatures weren’t terribly cold and the work kept me warm. The dirty straw is very heavy and at times I can roll it up like a carpet. I raked out a mound of straw. Once the dirty straw breaks down a bit it can be used in the garden. Once the old straw was out, I put clean straw in. I do give the chickens clean straw throughout the winter, but they have a habit of scratching it all onto the floor. I’m trying to figure out what I can do to keep more of it in their perching/nesting areas.
It took me several hours to clean out the coop. I had to work around 20 chickens, most of whom didn’t want to leave the coop, and the cats. A couple times when I bent down to pick up the dirty straw from the floor, Annie jumped on my back. Theo also likes to jump on my back when I’m working, although he didn’t do it today. When a cat jumps on my back, I have to go over to their food shelf and straighten up so they leap off me.
I was caked in muck by the time I was finished. I took my clothes off in the laundry room, put them in the washer, and then went and took a shower. I’m exhausted and my body–especially my arms– is aching from the hard work. It was a good workout and I’m counting it as exercise. I think there should be some sort of chart indicating how many calories are burned by doing chores. I’d say cleaning out the coop should burn about 10,000 calories, resulting in a loss of 20 lbs. Or something.