Our chickens are doing really well. The rooster crows every morning, and I look forward to the cock-a-doodle-doos. The hens still aren't laying, despite giving them more calcium, putting a golf ball in a nest box "to give them the idea" and putting a light in the coop on a timer so that they get an extra couple hours of daylight every day. From my research on the Internet, it looks like they grow a big wattle right before they start to lay, which one of the hens has done. (A wattle is the red part under the bill.) Otherwise, although 5-6 months to lay is average, it does take some of them 12 months. I guess we'll just keep waiting (if you have any good ideas, let me know!)
Despite the lack of eggs, we're really enjoying the chickens. They are very messy, though, and I was getting tired of them spilling their chicken feed everywhere from the metal chicken trays. I looked around the Internet a bit to figure out a better solution and decided on PVC feeders. I didn't follow any one plan, but got ideas from several and went to the hardware store. I bought two 3 ft long sections of 3 -inch PVC pipe, two Y joints, and two caps of different types.
The design was simple enough for Desert Boy to assemble: stick the pipe into the Y-joint. We added a lid for the bottom, put it on a brick in the coop, tried to secure it as best we could, poured in chicken feed (the newly-acquired canning funnel helped!), and then put on a lid just to keep anything else out. Assembly was less than ten minutes.
We also made one for the run, and for this one we used the sturdier cap for the top and the plug for the joint to keep rain out.
Here's Desert Boy filling up the PVC. We only need to do that once a week or so.
The chickens seem to be very happy eating out of the new feeders, and the mess is greatly reduced. Success!