|Frostbitten wattles and comb|
During the winter months, chickens can become prone to frostbite. Frostbite can occur on combs, wattles and even their feet. Chickens with larger combs and wattles often are the most susceptible. Cold hardy breeds, such as Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Australorps, and Silkies tend to have smaller combs. During colder weather, most chickens will poof out and poof up their head feathers and you will notice that their combs become almost entirely covered by their feathers. Chickens will also naturally roost in the evening. When roosting, the chicken’s body will cover their feet and toes, keeping them warm from the cold winter air. These are two ways that chickens’ bodies help to prevent frostbite. Yet, sometimes breeds succumb to frostbite for other reasons.
|One of our garden birdhouses iced over.|
I spent time visiting with children’s author, Jan Brett, and her amazing, prize winning Polish hens and roos. Can I just tell you that her chickens just smell amazing! As I was holding one of her hens, I could smell this wonderful aroma of eucalyptus, mint, and lavender wafting up to my nose. I leaned over and smelled her chicken’s poofy head, it was delightful! Her sweet chicken, fell asleep in my arms while waiting for her beauty treatment.
|Children’s Author, Jan Brett, and myself|
|Jan’s Polish chickens for sale|
Soon enough, it was off to see my favorites, the Silkies. I call this Silkie row. This is just a portion of the white Silkies all competing for the winning ribbon.
For the past few years, I have looked forward to everything about the show-the chickens, the vendors, the folks who came to sell livestock and the overall energy of the entire event. However, this year was different. For me, it was about meeting up with the same group of ladies that I always meet up with at the shows. It has become clear to me how important our friendships mean to one another and I could not wait to be together, chatting away like a bunch of cackling hens! We met up at lunch time with one another. In no time, we were surrounding a plate of freshly baked brownies, pumpkin bread, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers. Even though I had not seen some of these ladies in person in over a year, it was just as if time had never passed.
Please feel free to check out my chicken friends’ blogs. You can visit Terry at Hencam.com or visit Lauren at Scratch and Peck and Wendy at Lessons Learned from the Flock.
Now onto our own party and meet up! Feel free to link up three links to this week’s blog hop. You know that we love reading what you are up to over on your blogs! Share your stories, crafts, cooking, baking, homemade creations, talents, animal keeping and the like and if you please, link back to the hop in your post so others can find and join the party.
I love this chicken rug! I think it would be so sweet greeting folks at the front door or near the kitchen sink.
Enter to Win A Farm Chick/Farm Dude Sweatshirt
The Fine Print: Contest ends 1/27/13 at 12 noon EST. Three possible entries per person/one comment only. One randomly selected winner will win. This item will ship to a US address only.
Photo Credits: Hobby Hill Farm
The Fine Print: Contest ends 1/19/13 at 12 noon EST. Four possible entries per person/one comment only. One randomly selected winner will win a Brite Tap Combo Pack. This item will ship to a US address only. Disclosure: I have received a complimentary Brite Tap Combo Pack from chickenwaterer.com to use with my own flock. However, the opinions that I have shared in this post are all my own.
|Last, week the hives were covered in snow.|
Earlier this week I went to our monthly local beekeeper’s meeting. As always, it is so wonderful connecting with folks, checking in with them and hearing updates about their lives and the bees. Over the course, of chatting, I quickly learned that many folks had already lost their hives and were busy ordering nucs and packages to replace their lost colonies in the spring. As the temperatures were expected to warm up this week, I decided that I needed to take a peek into my hives sooner than later. Peeking at beehives in winter can be tricky.