Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter at Cluckingham Palace

It's been unusually cold here as most of you are well aware. We wondered how the girls would like snow. Handy Man let them out first yesterday and laughed his head off at their antics all afternoon. He said they came flying out in their usual fervor, then stopped short,some hopped straight up in the air, surveyed the white world, and with much indignation zoomed straight back to the coop. Today I turned over some hay to try and entice them out. It worked, mostly.
"Whoa, man, this is slick!" Basically, the hot oats and vegies were tempting, but they really couldn't decide if they were coming or going.

I did feel the need to run them out for a few minutes to gather the eggs and turn over the litter. This was the obvious favorite nest box of the day. When they won't go out there are lots more droppings, that I need to turn over.
It took, oh, maybe 4 to 5 minutes.
Golda-my-chickie was brave enough to fly up on the gate to look around, but not brave enough to get in the snow.
When I wouldn't let them back in the palace, they decided to set up housekeeping elsewhere. The big silver rooster is in the back, and I don't how many more.

"C'mon Mom, it's cold out here. Please let us in. We'll be good and scratch and turn over all that litter."
"See, we're on it." Every evening when it's cold we throw scratch over the litter, it's called that I guess because they scratch all around while pecking it and turn over the litter, composting the poo and wood chips. The corn digests more slowly than some things they eat and warms them up in this awful cold. The theory is the composting litter provides some warmth in the coop as well. Then, in spring, you scoop it all into the garden-brown gold!
The little heater underneath keeps their water from freezing. Cheeky and Little Red Hen needed a drink. The cardboard over the top keeps any droppings out of their water. When it gets dirty, it goes in the compost bin.

The girls could stay in Arwen's house, cuz this is where Arwen stays. Right by the gate. I told those girls Arwen would not be happy to come home to her bed all scratched up, even if it was done by someone named Yellow Chick Awesome. They are pretty girls though, huh? As you can see, they're managing the cold fairly well, but I'd say they'll be glad when the snow is gone.
Other chickies were busy as well. There were about 200 of these tracks circling around the bird feeder on the side porch.
Are you staying warm?

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