Our poor chickens need a house. They had a house that we borrowed from a neighbor, but it was really too small and had no nest boxes and no good access to the interior except through the chicken door which is a bit small and nasty for adults, and although not too small, it's just plain ol' nasty for the kiddos. (really, this post is about peppers, hang in there.) So Saturday sweet husband had the day off and we decided to work on the new chicken mansion. We've already put a couple of good afternoons into the project and had the cement footings poured, the floor built and the walls framed. Now, the way the coop is set up, we had to remove the little dysfunctional house from the inside of the coop before we could erect the chicken mansion on the west wall of the coop or we'd need a crane to lift the old house out after the mansion was built, so Saturday morning we took the little chicken house out of the coop and set about working on the new chicken mansion.
As we were working and "hanging out" with the chickens all day, I was doing a horrible amount of coughing and sneezing, as were the kids and even sweet husband. He thought it was chicken dust, but something was seriously burning my throat out there! Everybody that came near the coop that day started coughing or sneezing.
Then it dawned on me--we had fed the chickens the hot pepper scraps--tops, seeds, and plants--just a couple of days before! So here's my theory: chickens eat nasty hotness, then it comes out the other end and they scratch it around on the ground of their coop and voila! CONTAMINATED CHICKEN COOP DIRT!
We ended up hosing the whole coop down so we could finish working that afternoon. Seriously folks, I won't be planting those particular varieties of hot peppers again! Sweet husband tried some (I told him I thought they should sit and "pickle" for a few months or something, but he really wanted some peppers on his sandwich) and they are SO HOT he about can't eat them. Now he's thinking of all the family and friends who need a bottle of pickled hot peppers for Christmas this year.
On a side note, the chicken mansion only got about half put together Saturday, so the chickens are now homeless, living in a box (the original chick box on it's side) and laying eggs in a pet porter until we get another day off to finish their new house. I'm seriously considering bribing some of sweet husband's friends to come help finish the coop as neither of us are much experienced at wood construction. Maybe they'd like some hot pickled peppers . . .