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.