Chickens and the Snowman

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Keeping 40 chickens in a snow-covered garden is certainly proving challenging at the moment. 

Elderly Hens and Cockerels

The older hens and my elderly cockerel continue to suffer in the cold. My little Pekin who is six years old is finding it tough and is spending much of her day in a nest box – her feathered feet are a real hindrance as they get wet in the snow.  Some hens are still going through the moult which is hard for them at this time of the year but they are surviving.

Fresh Water

With the heavy frosts over the last few weeks, keeping the water containers full of fresh water has been a struggle – the plastic drinkers become very brittle in the freezing weather and will break if roughly handled; the steel containers become solid with ice and need to be brought inside to defrost. And fresh water often freezes in a matter of hours so someone needs to be around to break the ice. Some of my hens like eating the snow but not all!

Access to Grass

The girls really don’t like not being able to get to the grass. We have had to rake up the snow to expose areas of grass – immediately there will be a group of girls pecking the grass tips to get their daily dose of greenery.

Egg Laying in the Cold Weather

Quite a few hens are still laying despite the cold weather. The snow does’t really put them off laying