|Typical teenagers--they don't think it's that cold.|
Instead, I'm greeted by their clucks and peeps. They are fluffed up, doing their imitations of Stay Puft marshmallow hens. We have a heat lamp on in one corner, and the coop is well insulated, but I don't think it's doing much good. The water freezes quickly, even under the heat lamp. I've been changing it frequently, filling it with warm water that quickly cools off.
Last night I was >this< close to suggesting we bring them inside. Instead, I sat down and began to Google "how cold is TOO cold for chickens?"
|Oreo ventures outside.|
I've been imagining how I'd feel in a cold coop, but then I don't have layers of downy feathers from head to toe. (Thankfully.) In fact, many chicken keepers believe a heat lamp will keep their birds from acclimating completely. (Ok, ok. Even so, I'm not ready to go there yet... I've just relaxed about bringing them inside, so give me a little while to think about the idea of no amber light for them.)
This morning I took out kale and cottage cheese (for a little fat), along with a bowl of warm pumpkin puree. I really ought to be eating like my chickens do--I'd be much healthier. They were fine. Happy to see me. I left the coop door open and they hurried outside. Poppy and Betty Boop were wing-to-wing in the nesting box, but then hurried over to see what I'd brought. Pearl and Mabel were in their usual high roost, also wing-to-wing and fluffed up like puffer fish. Violet, Clover, and Oreo, hurried out to see if I'd left anything in the run for them. What's a little sub-zero weather?
All was well. I locked the run door, and hurried back inside where, being human, I stood on the heater vent and marveled at how chickens are engineered.