Yes, we are in fact alive!
January has been one crazy month. There was lots of traveling in the beginning, then settling into my new job and then most recently a week of the crazy virus that has been going around.
The temperatures have been low and the snow intermittent. The chickens are nice and fluffy, we have a timed light on so they have longer (simulated) days so they are still producing eggs. We get lots of questions about the health and welfare of our chickens in the cold. We’ve done a lot of research, reading of blogs and observation to make sure our lovely ladies are happy and healthy.
Jim created an ingenious way to keep the water from freezing, a whole post on that shortly, and we check them everyday when we go out to collect the eggs. We make sure they always have food available, give them our organic scraps from the kitchen (carrot peelings, cauliflower leaves etc.) and organic dried Mealworms. We also have been adding more shavings to their coop when we clean it. We have plastic boot trays under their roost that make it easy to dump out the soiled shavings into the run and add more. Instead of also clearing out the rest of the shavings on the floor we just add more, removing any heavily soiled areas.
Through our research we have learned that chickens are very adaptable and will adapt to the cold weather, growing fluffier undercoats and at night they squish together for warmth. Ways to check if it is too cold is to check their combs (the wrinkly fleshy skin they have on their foreheads) if they have black tips or darker coloring they might be getting frostbite and a heating lamp is required. We are trying to avoid a heating lamp because it doesn’t allow the chickens to adapt, along with economical and safety reasons.
When we check the chickens while gathering the eggs we look for any odd behavior, lethargy and limping. We also look for chickens who have their head pulled into their body, which means they aren’t feeling well. So far we’ve been lucky and all our ladies are doing great.
More posts coming soon! Thank you, as always, for sticking with us!Share Now!