We’ve made it through the Holidays, no small feat when you have a tribe of kids. Santa managed to make everyone happy and mom and dad even got to read a book or two. We relaxed, we had food, we had guests, we had fun.
Now all we have to do is get through New Years… and this god-awful cold weather.
Each night we say a little prayer that this will not be the night that our chickens freeze their little beaks off. I mean I know that chickens are supposed to be hardy outdoor birds. I’ve read and been told this. I know this because it’s also my standard answer to the most often asked winter-chicken question.
What do you do with the chickens in the winter?
Chickens are supposed to be outdoor birds, I reply. They’re like the wild turkeys we have around town. Chickens were born with a natural down coat. Basically, you do nothing with chickens in the winter. They know how to survive on their own.
Except that we feel sorry for our semi-frozen birds and have made some provisions.
We keep a light on in the back. This is not for interrogation reasons, there will be no torture in our flock, instead it’s for the minimal amount of heat that we feel we should provide. We’ve been warned about over-heating our birds (which results in nothing less than SUNDAY DINNER) but a little bit of light on a cold and dreary night can’t possibly hurt.
We’ve also added warm food (which let’s face it, is ice cold by the time we get it to the coop but we try). All edible compost material (no meat or eggs thank you) goes out to the birds. A few days ago, Marc even mixed in a glass of un-drunk white wine to the mix and sent it out back.
Notice the cozy back-lit area of the coop
Not sure if that’s the kosher things to do with hens, but on a cold, windy night, perhaps that bit of wine came as a welcome respite warming the cockles of our little chicken’s souls.