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Diana's Desginer Hens

December 28, 2008

Well, for the last two weeks snow has desended on Chicken-ville. How exciting! We have not had such beautiful snow that makes great snowmen and forts in years! Everyone was excited and loving it, even though we had to cancel agility classes for a day or two.

The girls were cooing and clucking about the white stuff drifting into their yard. They pecked at it, hunting for snow bugs! Boomer was very interested in their behavior and spent hours watching them watch the snow lay on the ground. Kind of like watching ice melt, only nothing was melting!

Then tragedy struck!!! More snow. What is the deal? Brrr. Freezing temps. The heater in the hen house was on constantly to keep the temperature at 40 degrees. The little chicken door from the house to the yard was closed at 4pm and opened at 8am to keep the house warmer. Still the water got crusted with ice on the floor of the coop. The girls did not like being contained to the house during the night this one little bit, even though they got more corn and extra treats. One night wind whipped around the henhouse and rattled the windows! What a night!

The next fateful morning when we opened the chicken door to let the girls outside they body slammed to see who would get out first as always, just like our dogs. Then...YIKES!!!! The ones going out turned around and body slammed to see who would get back in first and ran head on into the ones still trying to get out!! Snow in the yard!! 2 inches deep! Definitely a snow emergency!!! Then they crept back out and tried to keep both feet off the ground at the same time! Brrr. Toes freezing. This is ridiculous! Instead of fussing around the yard hunting for goodies as they normal do, Girls were on the perch, standing on the edge of the hot tub (looks like a tire to people), anything to get relief from the freezing snow!!!!

When the snow didn't melt that night and the temp stayed at 5%, the next day they refused to come out of the house. They were cranky, noisy, would peek out of the chicken door when we walked by, but wouldn't come out even for corn! It was a dark and dreary day!!!

So the next day Doug (who doesn't really like the chickens, you know) went down and threw a couple flakes of hay into the yard, spread it around and threw a bunch of corn out! The girls were thrilled, and charged out and played all day....and the days and days and days and days to follow!!!!! (At this writing, we still have aobut 8 inches of unmelted snow).

What we learned about chickens during this icky weather is the temp doesn't bother them at all! They will go out and play, bathe in their tubs, do their cuddle talking, even at 5 degree weather. They would rather be outside than in. Unless the awful white stuff is on the ground! That's a deal breaker for them!

During this entire traumatic experience, the little workers continued to lay 7-8-9 eggs a day! They are awesomely fun to have in our pack!!! More later when the next chicken adventure comes our way!


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