Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Bracing for the Storm

We are expecting a large snowstorm tonight into tomorrow afternoon.  The winds are expected to reach up to 60 mph.  I hate storms like this.  The good news is that none of us need to be anywhere in the morning. I have locked the chickens into their coop and I put the tarp over the run.  Last year in a storm like this, we woke to find trees down.  I hope this will not be the case.   None the less, I was given a snowblower for Christmas; just in time. 

Despite the weather, Dolly is still broody.  I still remind her a few times during the day to eat and drink.  I also noticed when I gave her the medication this morning, she pulled her breast feathers.  Broodiness includes pulling out chest feathers.  Being in direct contact with the skin keeps the eggs warmer.  She uses the feathers to line her nest.  This afternoon, I removed an egg from underneath of her.  She fussed a little but seemed to understand.  The snow floated from the sky onto her back while the nesting box was open.  The egg was toasty warm regardless of the winter chill and snow.

I’ve been thinking maybe I should just let her sit on the eggs.  I fear the chicks would perish from their inability to keep warm.  During their first week of life, chicks need a sustained temperature of 95 degrees F.  I’m just not sure that she can achieve that.  I would hate to removed dead chicks from the coop in Winter.

I am praying that her broody spell is lifted soon.  God knows that hormonal women are difficult to reason with, including hormonal hens.  For now, maybe the snow gods are the one’s I should be talking to.  Perhaps, I can convince them not to dump 2 feet of expected snow on us.

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