Sunday, December 8, 2013

Augh! The white stuff!!!

First I have to apologize for being so quiet here on the blog for the last month.  It has been super busy between decorating the house for Christmas, making a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner for my family, and making lots and lots of Christmas presents.

And there hasn't been much happening in the hen house.  STILL no eggs.  :( 

I have however been super worried about the girls during this arctic cold snap we have had over the last 5 days or so.  We have had lows in the single digits and highs in the teens.  I don't think it got this cold all Winter last year.  

This is the first Winter with our girls.  And the first Winter that I have ever used sand in my coop for my chickens.  I love the sand in my coop!  It is truly so easy to keep clean.  But I worried that the coop would be colder with no straw.  But I have continued with my original plan and the girls seem to be doing GREAT!  The coop is very well built and certainly draft free.  But it has great ventilation with two roof vents and a vent on the north and south walls, as well as vents in the soffits.  We have NO heat lamps.  The only additional light we supply is a rope light that is on early in the morning and in the evening.  It is on a timer to go off and give the girls 8 full hours of darkness.  The girls all come running out in the morning when I open the run door and seem completely unfazed by the cold temperatures.
**Edit** - I almost forgot to tell you that the one other thing I am doing for the chickens now that we are having below freezing temperatures is that I give them a "late evening" snack every night.  At about 4:30 I take the girls either some stale bread, dry oats, cracked corn, or left over tortillas. (we always seem to have lots of these)  The girls are generally all in the coop by 5:30 each evening so a snack at this time catches them before they are roosted and ready for bed.  The idea behind the late snack is that the girls will have food in them that they are digesting through the night.  Just that act of digestion creates some warmth for them.  

The only thing they seem to absolutely NOT like is snow.  They try very hard to avoid the white stuff!
They go to great lengths to try to fly around the corner of the coop and over to the covered area of the run where there is generally no snow.  

I am afraid the girls are in for a big surprise if we ever get a true measurable snow.  So far this year we have had just a dusting.

How are your chickens doing with the cold Winter temperatures?

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