Well…….we made it! Maybe I’m counting my chicks before they hatch since Spring does not officially arrive until next Wednesday, but I’m confident that we have broken the back on Old Man Winter.
Compared to last year, we had a fairly snowy winter in Southern Ontario and it was accompanied by a few really cold nights (-20C). All said, everything worked out well for the hens. They continued to lay each morning and accepted confinement to the run. The use of a 100 watt light bulb during the day kept the drinker and eggs from freezing and humidity in the coop never rose above 68%. I’ll attribute the latter to cleaning out the poop in the coop on a daily basis and the supplemental heat from the light during the day.
There were a few times when the hens got out in the backyard to roam and it was funny to watch them become accustom to the snow. As always, Honda had to lead by example, though she too, was also “chicken”.
The hens turn 1-year-old next week. They have now officially moved from pullets to hens! I’ve learnt a lot over the last year about raising chickens and I hope that the worry, information searching and solutions will be of use to you. I look forward to the Spring when the grass will begin to grow again and Stanley will resume his job as protector of the hens while they are free ranging. Until then, the hens will have to settle for what they can find on the bare patches in the backyard, continue eating spinach and carrot peelings, and mostly stay in the run where those two red-tailed hawks can’t get to them.
Goodbye Old Man Winter. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! We’ve shared enough of your company and it’s time to move on. Please make room for the new starting pitcher named SPRING!