Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frigid Fowl

Hey chooks, wanna come out today?

How about you Betty, wanna come out? No?

The ducks don't seem to mind the cold. They're so well insulated I bet they can't even feel it. They keep their little swimming hole open despite the cold. They'll be so happy when spring comes!

Esther and Betty are staying in though. I've been giving the girls a flake of high quality alfalfa each day to pick over. They eat the little leaves. I'm sure they miss grazing in the green grass.

I've installed a light on a timer inside the coop, something I swore I wasn't going to do. I am only getting about 2-3 eggs a day right now and that's not enough to keep up with customers and my baking. So I'm putting the girls to work again. They're young, healthy and very well fed. Time to end the strike!


  1. I keep a light on in the coop but most of my girls live in separate breed pens. Each breed has their own house and yard - 3 pens - Wheaten Marans, Cuckoo Marans, and Amerucana's. My Faverolle's, turkey's, and some riffraff put themselves up in the coop.

    Let me know if the light seems to help. Like you, I'm only getting 2 maybe 3 eggs a day.

    I love that pond.

  2. Joanna, do you ever hatch out your own eggs? If the girls pick up momentum I'll be sure to post an update. I've read that it takes about a week for them to react to the extra hours of light.

  3. Amy, can't wait to see how it goes. I too have no light and don't want to use one, but I want eggs....I do have some solar lanterns that I could maybe hang in there, no electricty in the coop. Love the pictures.


    BTW 3 duck eggs in 3 days.. Weeeee!!

  4. Chris, I can't wait either. I only got one egg today! There's no electricity in the coop yet so I had to run two extension cords--one for the water and the other for the light. We intended to run some conduit to the coop from the barn but like a lot of projects this year it didn't get done. Next year for sure.

    Quit teasing me with those duck eggs! I've only got two hens and neither one wants to lay yet.

  5. Yes, we've hatched in an old styrofoam incubator. We don't do a lot but have done it. If, IF, I have a determined broody girl, I'll put some eggs under her from the incubator. I hate to make 'em sit for 21 days. The hens are much better at controlling the humidity on eggs that a an incubator is.

    I'm not interested in selling birds because I get too attached to 'em but I do like selling eating and hatching eggs. I will
    sell birds on occassion but have to really trust the folks. They are not just going to just throw my birds in the backyard and hope for the best.

  6. Esther and Betty are beautiful!
    My chooks refuse to go out in the snow either. They are pretty smart for feathery creatures. hehe

    My chooks are working girls, so it's important to me that they don't stop producing while we keep paying for feed.
    Yes, we adore our birds, but we got them to help our plan to become more self sufficient. Like you said, they are healthy, strong and are able to lay eggs all year round. So why not let them.
    We keep a light on in their coop...not only for the egg laying, but also to keep their water from freezing and to give them a little more warmth.

    With 15 hens we are getting 8-12 eggs per day this winter. Some of them have taken a little break on their own and only lay every few days and that's fine with me, too.

    As long as we get enough eggs for our family's food needs and to sell, to help pay for their feed every month...then we are happy :)

    New Mexico

  7. Those hens sure do complain when the weather's not to their liking, don't they? I doubt mine will come out much today. We've got freezing rain coming down this morning. School is on a 2-hour delay, but I wouldn't be surprised if they cancel.

    Keep warm!

  8. I sure don't blame those hens for not wanting to venture out into the cold!

  9. My chicken are not too impressed with the cold either. We are getting 1 doz eggs a day now.


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