It’s been a mild late fall, so far, but we’ve had a bit of a cold snap; it’s fallen to 15 degrees (F) these past couple nights. My girls are only eight months old, so this is their first winter, and they’re my first chickens, so we’re all making it up as we go along.
When we have snow, the girls will stay in the barn, which makes me happy because I know they’re (relatively) safe from predators, and out of the elements. I suspect there is a lot of “barn time” to come in the days and months ahead.
But when there’s no snow, the girls have proven that they can be pretty darned clever when it comes to their own survival (as they were with the hawk attack). Silly chickens? Perhaps. Silly like a FOX.
Our house is heated by an outdoor, wood-burning furnace. The furnace heats water, and the water runs through a complex series of pipes that heat the house. It looks like this:
(Well, it looks like this when the door is open. I took this pic while The Man was feeding the furnace.)
The girls have discovered that the little grey, metal house is now WARM, and spend much of their days camped out near it.
Not only have they gravitated toward the warmest thing in their territory, but the spot they’ve chosen is under several trees, providing them shelter from the elements, and protection from predators. It’s also carpeted with leaves which make for good bedding, and provide hours of entertainment and food. There are few things a chicken likes better than to scratch through leaves looking for bugs.
So, my chickens are (relatively) warm, protected, engaged, fed, and happy. This makes their rooster very happy.