It is an insanely cold right now in the frozen tundra we call home.
Seriously ... it is NEGATIVE seven degrees and it FEELS like NEGATIVE Twenty-nine! Someone please remind me why we chose to live here. I could be in Austin, TX where it is 37 degrees right now, and tomorrow it will be sunny and 52 degrees. Uggh.
Mr. D just asked me if I wanted to move. He's such a tease.
When it gets this cold, my chickens seems to be on the minds of many. People ask if we keep them in the garage in the winter (no). Or if the hens winter somewhere warm (no again).
In fact, unless the temperatures get below zero, I keep the coop open to the pen so the hens can get in and out on their own. They don't mind the snow. They don't seem to mind the cold -- but below zero --- well, that's not weather fit for man nor beast...er, bird. Typically I just leave this little light on over the roosting perch for them to get some warmth and many nights they choose to sit outside in the cold. Weird, right?
Chickens aren't known for their big brains and logical thinking.
I checked on the girls both this afternoon, and around 8 pm. I'd noticed some blood drips on the interior of the coop....and on one of the white hens this afternoon, so I figured I'd better check and make sure the biddies were ok, and getting along. (they struggle with that)
I'm happy to report that they are all fine --- and none are bleeding. They enjoyed some warm (and old) spaghetti noodles this afternoon (a favorite) and when I filled their water I used warm water, to warm them up a bit.
The infrared lamp I keep in the coop heats the place up a bit, and they do have plenty of feathers to keep them warm.
The biggest concern is frostbite on their combs and feet. They sit on their feet to keep them warm .... and their combs are fine. If they look like they are getting frostbite, I'll put some vaseline on them. I've never had to do that before, so I don't expect to now.
The cold isn't affecting their egg production either --
In fact, the egg production has increased in the last few weeks. We are collecting 5-6 eggs per day. Even our little banty is crankin' out the eggs daily now.
Those itty-bitty white banty eggs are so dadgum cute! They are a perfect size for a half of an egg sandwich -- which I sometimes like for breakfast or lunch.
On behalf of the biddies -- many thanks for your concern for their well-being.