Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chicken House News: Cold Weather Accommodations

So what special accommodations have we Humans provided during these bitterly Freezing Cold Times? Richard quickly notes that he has been forcing himself not to sing to them because they can't get away. Just kidding. Melanie thought they would probably like some singing.

So what is going on? The Chickens are bored since they have been having to stay inside. They are used to being busy with a wide range of places to explore. They are used to having plenty of space between themselves and other Chickens. The fact that they are now in close quarters and the fact that 3 are Roosters is a set up for some Tensions.

During the Day, the Chickens sit on the Ladders or in the Nest Boxes. Those Ladders are from my Dad and from Wag's House. Wag and Mrs. Wagner lived across the Street from us when we were growing up. They would have been of the age of my Grandparents, 3 of which were already gone by the time I arrived on the Scene. The Ladders are wooden, worn and wobbly by Today's Standards. But those Ladders are perfect for the Chickens for hanging out during the Daytime or Roosting in the Chicken House at Night. Richard built the Nest Boxes to encourage the Hennies to lay Eggs right there in their House.

Melanie has been giving them Scratch Whole Grains and scattering them throughout the House so they have something to scratch for. Melanie brings them Cane Seeds which are Brownie's favorite. Melanie sprouted some Mung Beans from the old Seeds the Humans were not going to eat.
She has also given them Venison Scraps left over from Canning. Those Scraps include some Meat, plus Fascia which is the connective tissue that is difficult to get off the Meat. Those Presentations of Meat lead to mass chaos in the Chicken House. Sorry, no pictures. The Photographer was having a Nap.

We make sure they have Kitchen Scraps. They have been getting Dairy that is Sour. Whatever Milk that we have at the end of the week, we let settle into Curds and Whey. They love it.

Richard and Melanie try to make sure they have high Carbohydrates. That gives them energy to burn. It's kind of like "stoking the Fire", which is a great idea in the face of this Cold.

Melanie and Richard leave the light on at night to prevent their Water from Freezing. Melanie thinks the Chickens would prefer it off. Because the Light is on, they can see each other and it likely leads to more activity during the Rest Time. Leaving it off would give them a break from activity, including Amorous Roosters. The Roosters wait until the Hennies get down off the Ladder for Food or Drink. You get the Picture.

Their Close Quarters during the Day means that they have been picking on each other. Melanie has been doctoring up some Combs. She puts Polysporin on them, but she is looking for a more natural remedy.

Because of the Cold, 1 of the New Roosters and Isabella have had Frostbite on their Beautiful Combs. Combs kind of turn black. We Humans imagine that it hurts. Frostbite on a Rooster's Comb can affect Fertility.

The extended Light at Night means they are laying more eggs. A dozen a day is not uncommon for 41 Chickens, 38 are Hennies. Even the 2 Little Hennies from Lacey's Littles are laying now.

Luna is molting. That doesn't make much sense to the Humans. But it is what it is.

Richard opened the Gate today and several Chickens actually went out. Sophia actually tried to Dust Bathe. Brrrr....

1 comment:

Michelle J said...

I read somewhere that chickens can't see "true blue" light. I suppose, then that if you swapped out the red light for blue that it would be less disruptive to their sleep. ???

Our girls love their kitchen scraps too, especially rice, greens and meats. I threw them some diced up rind of ham the other day and they snarfed it down in record time. ;)