Ah, January. The time of year when snow abounds and so does the cold.
Fun Fact: Did you know chickens don’t like snow?
If they get spooked and fly out into it, they just sit there until someone rescues them!
January. Then month when you have days where the temperature never breaks -10°F (-23°C). When you stock up on groceries because you know you aren’t going to want to drive to the store. Where the governor of the state cancels school. Frankly, I didn’t want to drive to work either … but they never cancel work. Bummer.
When the temperatures drop so low you start to worry about the chicken so they get a heater.
Un-fun fact: Hundreds of chickens die each year because of coop fires.
For that very reason we only run ours under dire circumstances and monitor the temperature in the coop via a remote weather station.
January. The days when our crazy chickens suddenly decide it’s time to be grown-up and lay eggs. Which means despite the cold temperatures, and even though Papa made sure they had plenty of food and water for a few days, he still had to go out every day to collect eggs.
They stayed all nice and warm (relatively speaking) in the coop and run … and made Papa service them!
Fun fact: Did you know that if an egg has frozen and cracked it may still be salvageable?
If the membrane hasn’t been compromised, bring it into a warm environment. If it leaks all over then counter, then it gets tossed :-). If the membrane was ok, the egg shell will form together again and you might not be able to tell there was a crack at all!
Over the course of the last few days, we have been finding 7-10 eggs per day! And they haven’t even reached full laying capacity yet. We’re going to have a lot of eggs this spring and summer. We have some people that have already requested eggs from us, but I think I may need to find those notes I saved on how to freeze eggs. The last time we thought we had an over-abundance, we went through the big predator kills and then the others basically stopped laying. I don’t plan to take our bounty for granted.
There are only three laying boxes in the coop, so Papa built some additional “boxes” in the run this summer. They are plastic buckets with part of the lid removed and a little perch attached the front. Filled with wood shavings, some of the newer hens seem to prefer these to the coop boxes.
I just need to work on getting the hens used to me more. They tend to run and hide. Only Precious and Opal are willing to see what I’m up to. I like to think it’s the camera and the funny noises it makes … not me personally!