I’ve decided the ladies are fair weather girls. I’ve also decided their coop must be the Tajmahal because when the weather isn’t perfect they would rather stay inside! Maybe we need to spend less time cleaning it? Make it less hospitable?
Ladies, it’s important for you to get outside in the winter. You need fresh air and exercise to lay eggs! We haven’t seen but a couple eggs a week this winter! Get your act together!
During the last couple snow storms we didn’t let them outside because it was frostbite weather. When it finally stopped snowing, we shoveled the snow out of the way and opened their door. They came storming out with excitement until they came to edge of the snow, and then turned around and went right back inside!
Ladies, ladies! Sitting in the coop all winter is only going to fatten you up and make you look delicious! And if you aren’t laying eggs and looking tasty you may not be here much longer!
Watch the ladies reaction when they finally get outside after a couple days cooped up on this video from their YouTube Channel:
There is nothing more scary than walking into the chicken coop one morning and seeing feathers EVERYWHERE! The first thing you think is where is my dead chicken?! Then there is a sigh of relief when you find everyone accounted for.
So what the heck happened overnight? Molting season! It looked like some chickens dropped 1/2 their feathers. The ladies used to be so fluffy with sleek, bright colored feathers with a nice glow in the sun. Not anymore they don’t! The buff colored Orphingtons are left with shaggy whitish colored down. The Black Australorps looked more grey and some feathers even had white ends. No iridescent blue when the sun hits them. The Easter Eggers? Well they looked a little sad but nothing compared to those terrible buffs! The lower picture is what our little lady looked like before molting in the picture above it. What a terrible time of year to go full tilt molt! Right in the middle winter!
I started the morning raking up feathers but by the time I was done they had dropped just as many! We are just going to have to deal with the feathers until the molt is over.
Without the feathers you can see how skinny some of these hens really were. Being an overprotective hen mom I had the vet take a look and she told me some were a little thin and they needed a little extra vitamins and protein to get them past this late molt. So that’s what I did. Gave them vitamin water, meal worms and sunflower seeds. All the fixins for fixing feathers!
There was a fast recovery after all the good snacking. Good thing too! We has some subzero weather and they really needed those feathers to keep them warm! Just in the nick of time!
See the ladies checking out all the feathers on their YouTube Channel:
Yes, this is what I get to look at every morning when I let the chickens out for the day!
The morning chores consist of opening the nesting boxes, cleaning off the poop deck, refilling the feeder, cleaning and refilling the waterer. Pulling the poop out in a bucket, there is a long walk out to the compost pile. It’s a perfect time to look out over the land and enjoy the sunrise. I often wonder if the ladies even notice or care about the colorful sky, but I can tell you it makes taking care of them a lot easier!
A little poop for pretty in pink!
Check out the sunrise on the ladies YouTube Channel: