Saturday, January 21, 2012

Spa Day...

After being cooped up (literally) for the past 2 days due to the bitter cold temperatures and sub zero wind chills the girls were finally able to venture out to the run this afternoon.  What fun they had!!  I knew they'd be desperate for a dust bath and I was right.  They were so fun to watch and to listen to their happy chatter.

Patty and Buffy were really getting into it.

It was good to see them enjoying the new treat toy also.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cooped up!


When the temps really dip I worry about the chickens but so far the temperature inside the coop has been steadily 15-20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.  This morning the outside temperature was hovering around 0 and the wind chill was -12.  Inside the coop it was a toasty 23.  Chickens handle cold weather better than hot, humid weather. (me too).

The Max temperature was from yesterday afternoon.  The thermometer resets itself every 24 hours.

What a difference from a week ago when it was 53 degrees outside and I was able to get out on my JANUARY!  

A chickens body temperature is 107 degrees and when it gets cold they huddle together and puff up their feathers to hold more of that heat in.  They look so cute and fluffy like that.  Here Buffy and Riley are demonstrating that heat trapping technique.

They had very little desire to venture out into the run this morning.  They were only interested in the warm oatmeal and apples that I put out there for breakfast.  Amelia, one of our Easter Eggers, refused to venture out at all.  I've noticed that the EE's do not seem to do as well with the winter.  We've had no green eggs for a couple weeks now.  Not sure if it's a light thing or a cold thing.  Although we've had a really mild winter so far.

As soon as that was gobbled up they were back inside.  Since the girls are cooped up today by choice I thought I'd introduce the second new toy.  A ball that releases treats as it's pecked at and rolled around by the chickens.  I filled it with scratch (cracked corn, oats and other grains and seeds) and dried mealworms.  Again they were curious but not as thrilled as I had hoped.  They did a lot of looking and only a few were brave enough to actually peck at it.

Again another video.  
Listen for the crow outside about 8 seconds into the video and see how they're ears perk up.  It's funny.

How are you staying warm today?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

Can you see what's wrong with this picture???

Here is a hint...

Here is another hint....

That right!  It's January 10th and the temperature nearly hit 50 degrees and the window in the coop is open and the warm sun is streaming in!!!!  
I know lots of people LOVE this but I'm feeling like Old Man Winter is cheating on me.  I like winter.  My birthday is in winter.  I grew up making snowmen, snow forts, snowballs, ice skating, sledding and skiing.  There was never a shortage of things to do in winter.  I love the sound and feel of snow crunching under my feet.  I love the feeling of being trapped inside while a snowstorm blows outside.  I love being toasty warm under a blanket with a crackling fire in the fireplace.  I love the way the sun shines on fresh snow and makes it look like a field of sparkly diamonds. I love how trees look with their shroud of snow.  Today is the last day of this crazy weather and then I get my winter back.  We are under a Winter Storm Watch and by this time tomorrow there will be snow on the ground.  I'm excited.

Meanwhile out in the coop I'm sure the girls are also loving this but I also think that boredom is setting in.  So I bought a couple new "toys" one of which I introduced this morning.  It's a simple wire basket ball that hangs and can be stuffed with "treats".  I stuffed it with red leaf lettuce and red cabbage.

They were not real sure what to make of this intruder in their space.

Patty didn't hesitate too long and was rewarded with a chunk of red cabbage.

I also captured a video because that is worth a million words.

Next week I'll introduce a rolly treat ball that they can push around and treat will fall into it.
Happy Winter!