Jay and I walked to the bakers this morning and really enjoyed crunching over the (almost) virgin white snow but the cats and chickens are not so happy.
The cats usually queue up to dash out of the window as soon as it’s light but this morning only two braved the ice cold draught but went put of the window and then straight to the door to come in. They are all curled up happily in the warm now.
Not so the hens. They have two shelters – with the open side facing in opposite directions but they are decidedly miserable.
The snow is getting deeper and they don’t like walking over it. Even at bedtime I have to lift some of them into their house for the night. Hilda, the Sussex hen, is the only one who puts herself to bed before I get there and sometimes Susie joins her but the others are usually making sad little noises from underneath the tarpaulin and scratching fruitlessly at the bare earth before having a last drink of water as a ‘nightcap’.
They are all still laying an egg a day despite seeming less interested in food. Apart from their grain, which they peck at eagerly, they show little interest in many of the other treats I take them such as cabbage or lettuce, and bread soaked in warm water. However, they greedily gobble chips, bacon or fish if I can offer them any such leftovers.
Their water needs checking regularly as, even under cover, it can freeze.
If any experienced poultry keepers can give me some hints on keeping them happy over Winter I’d be very grateful. Thanks.
One thing about this weather is that it puts me in the mood for Christmas and we took advantage of the local Garden Centre having a 15% discount day to buy our tree.
CC decorated it yesterday and we got the season off to a good start with mince pies and mulled wine while playing Ella Fitzgerald’s Christmas album: all a bit earlier than usual but, never mind, eh!