Help! I’m schtuck!
We’ve had the most annoying kind of winter weather in the last few days. We got about three inches of snow Thursday night, but because the temperature hovered right around freezing, it was already too wet in the early morning to clear with the snowblower. (When the snow is too wet, it just kind of breaks into shoals that get pushed around by the snowblower chute.) So I had to clear our driveway by hand with the big sled-type push shovel.
Temperatures on Friday and Saturday were in the 40-something range, which means all the snow turned into slush and water. The chicken coop was a muddy mess that looked like the birds were reenacting WWI trench warfare on the western front. I had to put down a few pallets to give them dry feet temporarily.
Last night, temps dropped down to fifteen degrees, and guess what happened to all that water and slush? That’s right: SKATING RINK.
I always feel bad for the birds when temperatures dip that low, but the feed store assured us that these are cold-hardy birds that are fine without any sort of heat in their coop right down to zero degrees or less. And sure enough, they were hopping out of the coop this morning for their breakfast just like any other day. I’ve actually read advice against providing them with heat, because they’ll get used to it and then end up freezing when the power goes out and they have to spend a night or two without their heat source. Seems a little harsh, but people have been keeping chickens in the winter for thousands of years without the luxury of indoor heating, I guess. The coop has electricity via weather-proof extension cord from the garage, but the only things hooked up to it are the electrically heated water fountain and the chain of Christmas LED lights for added daylight on the fringes of the day to keep the egg production going.
This is my first livestock of any kind, so it’s still a learning process. But hey—they’re still alive and active, so I must be doing something right at least.