Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chickens and Snow, Lots of Snow

If you live anywhere in the northeast or have watched the Weather Channel lately, you know that Connecticut has broken all kinds of records for the most snowfall in January.  While it's not much compared to what I used to deal with as a teenager in Ithaca, New York, in a Connecticut chicken's world, the snow is over-whelming.  I figure it will all be melted by the end of May at this rate.

With each new snow deposit, we shovel a path going from the chicken coop to our deck, a safe haven for the chickens now that the resident Hawk with a capital H knows we have a drive-through for raw tenders.  I put an extra supply of food and water under the deck daily to encourage the chickens to remain under the deck during the day.  They have dirt to scratch and protection from the worst of the precipitation and the gusts of wind.  More importantly, they aren't very accessible to a diving hawk or even the ground predators who are kept at bay by the fear of our Golden Retriever.

Mumbles, the Snow Queen

The hens who are laying take excursions to the coop to leave their eggs.  With the shorter days, only about five of the thirteen girls are laying eggs.  As night falls, the chickens go home to roost by following each other single file along the path from the deck to their coop.  With any other places the hens used to like laying now inaccessible, the snow is a good training tool to teach the girls to use the nesting boxes provided.   

Jay feeding old tortilla shells to the girls from the deck
I took some pictures of the chickens walking along their path to demonstrate how high the snow is for them.  I would guess it's like walking through a maze.  They have learned that if they flutter up and off the path, they will certainly sink in the snow and be stuck there until a human comes to the rescue.  Not a safe situation if a human isn't home or doesn't notice before a predator does, although they do look pretty funny.

Chicken's Point of View

1 comment:

  1. At least when it comes to walking in the snow, they aren't chicken.