It has been a cold few days in the backyard coop and my chickens are not keen on this weather. They are used to frolicking in the back yard, dust and sun bathing and scratching for bugs in the garden. They aren’t fond of the snow on the ground in the run and frankly, it’s just too cold down there. So they hole up in the protected part of the coop where they like to roost. I opened the door and noticed them all huddled together, trying their best to keep warm. Their water heater did not work in the bitter single digit cold so I had to bring them fresh water every few hours to ensure they never ran out. I also brought them lots of treats and generously gave them scratch to keep their bellies warm.
Poor Phil had some frostbitten waddles so I took him inside, warmed him up and generously rubbed vaseline on his waddles and combs to keep them protected from getting worse. He has so many crazy feathers on his head that when dips his beak into drink, his feathers and waddles get wet and icy. He enjoyed his brief warming reprieve inside and had a lot to crow about when he rejoined the ladies in the coop.
Currently, the coop residents are Phil the Polish rooster, Clementine and June who are both a similar breed that looks like some kind of Buff Orpington mix with something else. Maria and Florence are my Rhode Island Reds and Florence has the distinction of being the oldest and the only one who has survived a fox attack. We have Meatball and Nubbin, the Easter Eggers, Truffle the Americauna, and Laverne and Shirley, the Barred Plymouth Rocks. There has been a pesky fox that continues to threaten my flock. He got the best of my last rooster Greg, and a few of my hens in December and since then, I’ve been very careful about how and when I let them out.