Tuesday, January 11

Storms and Happy Ladies

Another storm is heading our way and it has become second nature to button up and take it as it comes. The snow shovels are out and ready by the back door, the pantry is stocked, and the pellet stove is also stocked and roaring away, keeping the house warm against the 17 chilly degrees outside. This is winter in New York State and I am used to it. Some days I curse it as I slip and fall in the driveway and freeze my fingers taking Snowy out for her abthroom breaks. And other days I watch the snow come down and curl up on the couch under an afghan with the little guy and read a book or two. Mostly about trains or colors or farm animals these days, but at least there are plenty of pictures.

I have made sure that the ladies are well provided for - they have plenty of luke-warm water in their fonts so it will not freeze overnight and they have corn mixed in with their regular feed of crumbles. I like that this gives them a little something more to work away at and that it will fatten them up to help insulate them against the cold. I went out to the coop tonight with a treat of bread scraps and wishes of "goodnight and stay warm!"

They seem to be happier since we removed the four roosters and a calm contentment has settled once again over my flock of happy ladies. The thermometer I put in the coop has not dipped below 30 degrees even though it feels much colder in there to me. So far, so good as I was worried about my first winter with chickens in my care. And despite a rocky start, we are now going strong and looking forward to spring.

I am still getting over a dozen eggs per day and although some are showing signs of molting, I am optimistic that my flock is a happy one.

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