Wednesday, December 28, 2011

tending to the chickens

This morning, I made the effort to take care of the lovely chickens, who are still giving us a few eggs every day despite lack of light, lots of snow, and below-freezing temperatures. Their pasture has been completely covered over with ice and snow for at least a couple weeks now (today's clouds and 40 mile per hour wind gusts certainly aren't helping the matter), so they've spent a lot of time in their barn these days. Time to fluff up their nest!


I added a new layer of pine shavings to the barn floor to freshen things up a bit. This will also help a little with warming the barn, as the layers beneath continue to decompose and give off heat. I bet it feels nice on their little chicken feet, too, like sinking into a new fluffy rug.


The nest boxes got filled with new hay.


I also put a hay on the ground in their outdoor run, which gets them scratching around and exercising outdoors.


And for a little post-Christmas treat, they indulged in my nephew's hardened gingerbread house, which he kindly gifted to them when he visited recently.


Which was promptly followed by a big healthy salad. (Because that balances it out, right?)


Tonight, when they're all tucked in, I'll give them the spa treatment: I've started putting petroleum jelly on their combs (going to try homemade non-petroleum jelly once this jar is finished up) since some of them appear to have a bit of frostbite. I've read mixed reviews as to whether this makes any difference, and I'm really not sure myself. Any tips you care to share are greatly appreciated.

12 comments:

  1. You have such beautiful chickens! Love their balanced meal...he he! Good luck with the P-jelly!

    Hugs!

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  2. Your hens are very lucky to have such wonderful care. Well done! Love the gingerbread house... Around here, it probably would have gone to the pigs!

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  3. I so admire you young people with your chickens and farms!

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  4. Hello from Texas...thanks for stopping by my new blog. I hope you will join and follow me. Not only do I fight the cold with my chickens, but last year our heat was a problem too.
    Enjoyed your photos.
    Meggie

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  5. I have no experience with frostbite on the chickens, we don't really get that cold and my hens have smaller combs. I have heard that the petroleum jelly is the thing to do though.
    I thought I was the only one to give my chickens "Chicken Salad!" Mine also get the leftover bread and, recently, spaghetti squash and other squashes which they just love and eat completely, rind and all!
    Love your pictures of your beautiful chickens! :)

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  6. I had no idea chickens would eat salad! I will definitely use you as a reference when we get our much-desired hens!

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  7. I use petroleum jelly on those really frigid nights, too. I think it has helped stave off the worst cases of frostbite. How nice of your nephew to offer his gingerbread house! And how nice of you to make sure they have a balanced diet ;o)

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  8. How heartwarming to see the love, care and attention you give your lovely hens :)
    They looks so happy and comfortable!
    I remember having hens as a child, they are so much fun!

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  9. Candy, I was just reading about how pumpkin is very healthy for chickens! I'm actually thinking of growing extras next year and saving some just for them.

    Mia, oh yes! In fact their natural way of eating is to forage for grass/greens and bugs!

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  10. You look like you have very well cared for chickens. My birthday present from my husband and kids this year was a chicken coop and two chickens, Wilma and Betty! We are really enjoying their fresh eggs but luckily in this warm climate in Australia we don't need to worry about frostbite!

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  11. Gina, that's fantastic! I love people who wish for farm animals on their birthday :) Thanks for visiting here.

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  12. It's nice to see that your chickens eat good. A healthy chicken makes for healthy eggs.

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