Chicken Update

It's been another, shall we say, brisk day. It was just 5 degrees outside when I left the house this morning, and it didn't get out of the 20s today despite brilliant sunshine.

Again.

Lots of people have been asking how the chickens fare in all the snow and cold.

They're fine. Here's proof:


As you can see, there's still plenty of snow in the garden, though the ice you hear crunching on the path is almost all gone. The chickens came out the day Kirk shot this video, but when it gets below 20 or so they tend to stay inside the coop. They also don't like snow on their feet, so we try to keep the run at least a little shoveled out for them. You can also see that Kirk threw down some wood shavings for them to walk on. 

The inside of the coop is fairly warm, if you're a chicken. Remember, they have a light in there, and it adds a fair amount of heat during the coldest part of the night since it's an incandescent bulb. The heating pan for their water also adds a bit of warmth. They have good insulation with their feathers too, and we purposely chose breeds that do well in the cold (Plymouth Rock, Red Star, and some Easter Egger crosses).

The only thing that's not going very well for them is the, ahem, cleanliness level in the coop. It's been hard to muck out the coop with all the snow, but cold temperatures keep odors at bay since nothing's really breaking down. When it's too cold, though, their poop just freezes solid into a giant crap mountain, and it's pretty well frozen in place. 

I'll spare you the photo.

Anyway, we just add layers of wood chips to give them a clean surface when needed, and we wait for a thaw.

They're still (mostly) laying, though that gets spotty when we have stretches of really cold days. When daytime temperatures don't get beyond the low 20s, they stop laying until it warms up again. 

I can't say that I blame them. All I want is to curl up somewhere on those days, too.

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