Winter Chickens at 5R Farm
We’ve had several weeks of freezing temperatures in the mornings at 5R Farm this winter. When I look out the window in the morning and see a frost covered landscape I think of two things – most importantly, I need to heat up the tea kettle and get out there and defrost the outdoor chicken waterers. (There is a heated waterer inside their coop which never freezes, but since they don’t spend much time in the coop during the day, they also have outdoor waterers.) Secondly, I grab my camera and take some pictures of the beautiful winter wonderland right outside the door! When it’s especially chilly out, I’ll make the girls a treat of warm oatmeal for breakfast. Not that they really need it – their feathers are essentially like a down coat and they are perfectly content in below freezing temperatures – but I figure everyone likes a warm breakfast on a cold winter morning so why not spoil the girls a bit. On the days that I don’t get to be at the farm, thankfully we have our friend and caretaker, Chip, to make sure the ladies are well attended to.
There have also been a few snowy days this winter, although it has been nowhere near as much snow as we got last year. When it does snow, the chickens have several places they can get out of the weather including their covered run as well as the shade shelter we built them last summer, which as it turns out also provides a nice respite from the snow. Some of the chickens (in particular the English breeds like the speckled sussex) don’t seem to mind the snow at all and they are out and about even when the flakes are falling, getting their feathers as wet as can be. Not to worry however, because the chicken coop is dry and draft-free and after they spend the night all snuggled up together on the roost they come out the next morning dry and ready for another day of winter. All in all, life is good for a chicken at 5R Farm.