Tag Archives: chicken winter care

Lesson 1229 – Guess what?

Guess what?

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Chicken Snow Butt.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicken fun, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family

Lesson 1226 – Here comes the sun

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This weekend we let the chickens out. There wasn’t much space for them to walk around (the snow is still quite high in our backyard and the only real walking area is the shoveled path to the hen house), but they took full advantage of the tiny bit of freedom and change of scenery.

Once the girls got outside, they stretched their legs and pecked at the grain around the coop that had frozen long ago into the ice. They clucked, they spread their wings, and they turned their faces to the sun.

By evening, the entire flock was happy to go back inside the coop to roost – worn out by the exercise and ready for a rest. Continue reading

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Lesson 1223 – Chickens in towns? Heck yes!

It has come to my attention that a group in Deltona, Florida has taken a portion of one of my blog posts regarding a solitary situation with a smelly coop and they are using it to support their arguments for not allowing backyard chicken flocks in their town due to smell.

Utter hogwash. I write for Backyard Poultry Magazine, Mother Earth News, Grit, and I hold chicken workshops throughout New Hampshire. I am in complete support of towns (and in some cases, cities) allowing residents to maintain a backyard coop – definitely 100% in that court. It’s the reason I go around the state and teach people how to care for a backyard flock. Continue reading

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Lesson 1214 – Baby it’s cold outside

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Boy this has been a tough winter. I’m hearing accounts from all over New England of people who are losing chickens.

In the winter, it’s common to lose some of the older or not quite as strong members of your flock. Last winter we lost 3 birds. They were alive and well one day, frozen solid the next. It’s a way for nature to ensure that the most fit will survive.

It happens, but you don’t have to like it.

As of yesterday, we haven’t lost any of our flock to the winter weather, but with continued snow and record low temperatures in the forecast, I fear, it’s only a matter of time. We do what we can for the flock and hope against hope (and Mother Nature) that we will all come out on the other side intact.

Some things you can do for your flock in the extreme cold: Continue reading

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Lesson 1210 – Hold on, my lovelies

No controversy today, just chickens.

I’ve got bad knees (they’re not really bad, more like just a bit naughty) which means that when we have a significant amount of snow and ice in the yard, my husband is the one who goes out to the hen house to tend to the flock each morning. (We’ve found it’s a less expensive solution than going to the Emergency room for a knee sprain.)

I end up gazing longingly at my pretties from the safety of our living room while they look with cocked eye at my silhouette in the window – all of us waiting patiently for the warmth of spring to reunite.

Even our dog, Pippin is having a tough time. This is what is left of his dog run: Continue reading

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Lesson 432 – Where we belong

Late last night, we found out that power was restored to our house. Oh callooh callay!

Because our town had made the decision to hold school the next day (much to the kids’ delight there has been no school Monday through Wednesday) we made the decision to pack up and move out then instead of at 5:30 the next morning.

The kids were a little upset, they had to be pulled away from a movie that had been set up on a projection screen for all to watch. They hadn’t finished the large cups of popcorn everyone viewing the movie had been given.

The kids were tired, out of sorts and they had finally had it up to here with disruption after disruption. It showed in the bickering in the car on the way home.

Brush your teeth, get into bed, I kept repeating when we got home, we’ll find your math book in the morning.

Today, the kids are at school. Some of them are wearing socks they’ve had on for days, some are in need of an extended hot shower. All had to take cold items in for lunches, apples, granola bars, even the last of the emergency poptarts.

But they are back where they belong, in a routine that feels familiar. A life that feels in control.

While they were away, I walked around the house assessing our home that we had to leave so quickly.

The Halloween decorations are still up but as the town has moved trick-or-treating out to this coming weekend, they will remain up at least for a few more days playing games with my mind – witches and skeletons in the snow.

Limbs in the yard will need to be gathered and chopped in preparation for the wood stove which we WILL be getting. Continue reading

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Lesson 431 – what a chick does at a shelter

Hi there. We’re still at the shelter and while we’ve spent most of the day away doing errands and checking in on the flock, we still find ourselves here at night taking advantage of the heat. I don’t know how many of you have had the experience of staying in a shelter but I thought I’d share with you, what it is a chick does while staying in an emergency shelter.

First of all, a chick relaxes. The kids are safe, the animals are tucked away for the night, despite the storm’s fury, all is well. It really is. Time to take a deep breath.

A chick must also see to Holiday decorations. Several young members of different flocks are here and let’s face it, Halloween in a shelter is not the best place to  be.  So to be festive (and to continue being a mom, above all else) this is how a chick celebrates Halloween in a shelter.

After a very short time, this is how a chick keeps clean. There’s a trick, if you pick the very last shower on the left and press the spigot twice, you can get warm water.

And lastly, this is how a chick spends the time in a shelter. She has to be around to supervise the kids (no basketball near others’ cots please) and she has to keep an eye on where those young pullets and cockerels are but like the village that a shelter eventually becomes, everyone sort of takes care of each other. People are given rides, older people are given food first, and moms get to put up their feet in order to read the book they’ve been dying to start – an opportunity to rest their bodies before the arrival of the next crisis.

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