Chickens Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest

Jack Frost Nipping at My Coop

Earlier this week we had some of the coldest temperatures in years.  Two days ago, I awoke to find the thermometer reading 1degree F with a wind chill of -15 degrees F.  I certainly forgot how cold that truly felt.  The warnings on the TV said frostbite could happen in exposures lasting 10 minutes.

I was nervous to see how the girls were fairing in the weather.  I found the water dish in the coop was a frozen block of ice.  Some say the coop remains about 10 degrees warmer inside than outside in the night.  All I know, is that for the first time in a while, the water was frozen through.  The girls ran out into the run as usual.  They did not seem to be affected by the cold.

I then checked for eggs.  Suddenly, I heard an unexpected cracking noise.  Uh oh…what was that?  I put the lid down, revealing the weatherproofing cover I had made for the coop had become brittle and cracked; snapping into shards of little pieces.  I felt defeated.  My heart sunk.  I also knew that I needed to repair this problem before the afternoon.  Predictions said we were going to get snow and rain later in the day.  If I did not make the repair this morning, the flock would get wet.

As quickly as I could, I removed what remained of the old plastic.  My gloved fingers were like ice kabobs.  My nose was frozen and I knew that time was not on my side!  Into the house, I took some new plastic from the garage, what remained of the old original plastic and the screws.  After about 5 minutes, the plastic warmed up enough to regain flexibility.  Warm in the house, I used the old plastic as a template.  In the new plastic, I partially turned the screws into their preset locations.  Then back outside I went with my new cover.

As fast as my fingers could work, I screwed in the plastic.  It is not perfect.  Within 2 minutes of being outside, the new piece began to become very cold and lost most of it’s flexibility.  By the last screw, a corner cracked off when I mistakenly placed my hand there for leverage.  Oh well,  I thought, at least the coop is weatherproof once again.  I had a sharp reminder that I am not is Southern California anymore.  I learned what happens to plastic in the cold!  For now, the job that I did should last until Spring.  I just hope Spring does not take it’s time to arrive as it usually does on Cape Cod.