A Chilly Reminder from the Chickens

January 25, 2013
Tilly's Nest- birdhouse snow chilly winter weather
One of our garden birdhouses iced over.
Yesterday, an arctic chilly blast from Canada arrived on Cape Cod.  Typically, our winters are balmy due to the insulating effect of the ocean.  Yet yesterday, temperatures never reached double digits.  The waterers were frozen.  My lips became horribly chapped.  I could not bear to touch the predator proof locks with bare hands.  Everything seemed to be brittle, cold and frozen- yes, dare I say, even the chicken poop.

The past two evenings as I went to bed I thought about the girls. Surely, with temperatures like these their coop would be cold.  So, I feed them extra scratch to help keep them warm before bed.  I topped off their feeders and applied a thin coat of Vaseline to prevent frostbite on their combs and wattles.  Safely inside the coop for the night, they hunkered down in a family style snuggle on the roosts.  All seven of them together on a three foot roost.  One by one they alternated the way they were facing on the roost.  Their acrobatic skills and sense of problem solving never ceases to amaze me.
The chickens could care less about the cold.  They adapt and in fact they thrive.  These past two mornings, they have popped out of their coop like new freshly popped kernels of popcorn.  Their lust for life is undeniable.  They scurry around the run seeking out tasty cracked corn and they sip the warm soothing water from the dish.  With a song in their soul and a giddy skip and a hop, they are happy to be alive.  This got me thinking.  Sometimes, those chickens have a way of reminding us.
Very early this morning, I woke up with the puppy and took her outside.  As she was puttering around the snowy covered yard looking for the perfect place, I was looking up at the trees and skies.  The chickens were still sleeping.  Yet, the wild birds were singing songs of spring.  I could hear the trills of the Carolina Wren, the sing-song of the Black Capped Chickadees  and the chattering of the Gold Finches.  The sun was beginning to peek up from the cold earth. How beautiful this morning was turning out.
A bit later that morning, like clockwork, the chickens emerged from the coop and I was on to tossing scratch in the run and thawing waterers.  The only difference was that I was now embracing this chilly wintry weather instead of loathing its inconveniences.  Soon enough, spring will arrive, but for now, I will try not to wish this chilly time of the year to pass.  It too is important in the circle of life.  Six eggs awaited me this morning in the nesting boxes.  Two were still warm.  New beginnings are just around the corner.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest


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10 thoughts on “A Chilly Reminder from the Chickens”

  1. Aren't they amazing how they adapt to these crazy winter temperatures? A couple of days ago our HIGH was 1 degree! And the low was -12 degrees (without windchill which I head was -25 or so). I was worried. But each morning they've popped out (like you described) ready to meet the day, sip some warm water, have some warm oatmeal mash (with feed, wheat germ, powdered milk, peas, and pears), and stretch those wings. I'm definitely glad it's warmer today!

  2. Wonderful sentiment. <3 It's snowing in VA today and the wild birds are hopping around the chicken coop, braving the elements while my chickens are hiding under the front porch, having some scratch. 😀 I have one broody silkie and she's probably the only warm bird of the lot.

  3. It is amazing how our animals adapt to the weather ! It has been heavily snowing here for hours our Miggs just loves the snow , we went for a walk as it was snowing, so pretty and peaceful ! Lovely photo and post hope the girls have fun in the snow there ! . stay cozy and have a good day !

  4. The past couple nights when it was near zero, I couldn't stand it so I put a red heat light bulb in their coop. It really didn't do all that much to increase the temperature though. I guess it was mostly for me!! And I think it kept them up during the night. I'm taking it out tomorrow.

  5. You folks now have the cold we had for the last month! I too had the reminder that this wnter will pass, and spring will come again. Near our farmhouse is an owl nest. They have nested there for the past 6 years. The pair has come and gone through the cold, and the other evening, the mom owl was in the nest. Tossing out pieces of branches and even a clump of snow. Housecleaning! I love the owls, and with supervised forage we (chickens and owls) co-exist with no issues. The chickens are so joyful and add such happiness to my life. I am grateful for each day we have, even if it was so very cold for so long. I love your blog, thank you for sharing! Pam


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.