Thursday, January 11, 2018

Poultry and Who's in Charge of This Winter Weather?

I think we've had our January thaw the last two days.  Temps have been up in the 30s and we're experiencing a bit of melting.

All day yesterday we were warned of the misty drizzle changing to rain, then dropping temperatures last night, freezing rain and subsequent snow starting around midnight.

Well, it's 4 a.m. now and I'm awake because the house is too warm.  (We fired the wood stoves for the predicted dropping temps which have not, as of yet, happened.)  The thermometer still shows a reading of 32 degrees and it's raining.  Who is in charge of this winter weather?

As documented by these pictures I took yesterday, the poultry are enjoying the (temporarily) mild weather.


The geese would love to take a cleansing bath in the pond (albeit still very much ice and snow covered), but in lieu of that chose to take the equivalent of a sponge bath around one of their water pans.


Everyone was out and about in their "courtyard" area enjoying the break in the frigid weather.


This shows part of the layout of the different shelters that form a rough circle around the courtyard.


The big pen in the background looks to be open on the side facing, but it actually has a small door in the middle and hardware cloth covers the right and left sides.  The rest of the pen is protected by either plastic sheeting or plastic over hardware cloth.  It's curious that when the birds bed down in a selected pen, they station themselves by the open-air panels rather than snuggled in a protected corner where you would think they'd be more comfortable.  Supposedly, ducks and geese do quite nicely in nothing more than a three-sided shelter, but ours are locked up each night in one pen or another to keep wild critters from getting to them.  The chickens prefer to spend their nights in the chicken house on their roosts without as much fresh air, thank you very much.

19 comments:

Kristina said...

I tired to let my hens out yesterday, but my barn doors were froze shut. Sigh. I hope they are thawed today. We are in the 50's, with a snow storm on the way.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

I wish I had hens to put out! My ancestry is Scottish and that's what the females of the family call each other - hen. :)

Brace yourself. The wicked weather is coming back. We went from 0 degrees yesterday morning to -35 celcius wind chill this morning. I hate it. A lot.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Oh no, I don't like those big fluctuations in temperature . . . 50s for you today with a snow storm on the way? I don't think it's good for the animals either. Hope your snow doesn't amount to too much, and the temps don't go too low!

Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - Oh, how I would miss our hens . . . or should I say their eggs!

My maternal grandmother came to the States from Scotland when she was 15. Her big family was starving there (literally) so it was heaven to them here.

I just came in from checking on the poultry (1 p.m.) and the temp is 9F above, but with a wicked wind blowing. Good thing we don't have a lot of snow because everywhere I shoveled at 9 a.m. is drifted in again. Ugh.

Marie said...

0', 40 mph wind gust and heavy snow --- the forecast kept changing and I don't think this was even mentioned ... argh.

tpals said...

Brrr. The weather change came through here right on schedule. That wind!

I love your bird pictures. Thank you.

Mama Pea said...

Marie - I know! Seems we haven't had an accurate weather forecast in a coon's age. Hard to know what to plan for!

Mama Pea said...

tpals - Good to hear you got a reliable weather forecast! We've had so much high wind these past couple of years, you have to wonder what's happening. A couple of times outside doing chores today I thought I was going to get blown off my feet!

Aw, thank you for saying you enjoy the pics of the poultry. (I think they like it when I photograph them!)

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Nice quarters for your birds!!! Enjoy the warmth while you can, right? One never knows when the temperature will drop and the wild wind will kick in.

Sending hugs and love
Sandy

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - The pictures would look very different today. All is covered with snow. Although we didn't get a lot, we had quite a bit of drifting which made it hard walking (for me and the birds!). The poultry spent a lot of time "indoors" and came out only when I brought chow! Smart birds. We're to have temps in the low, low single digits for a couple of days now. Good inside weather!

Leigh said...

Love the shots of the geese. I'm guessing there's warm water in that water dish and they're sitting around to soak up some heat (that's what are ducks and chickens do anyway.:)

Anonymous said...

My Goddaughter love the pictures of your chickens and geese. Is it okay for me to print them for her?
Thanks
Coni

Anonymous said...

I love the courtyard arrangement. How practical!! Plus it looks so cozy and social for your flock. 'Kinda reminds me of an old fashioned town square--which was good for people, in the day. If I ever get back into poultry again, I'd like to try out your clever courtyard system!-M

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :)) I just LOVE seeing all of your fowl friends together! They all look so happy and healthy. I hope one day I can show you pictures of that kind of set up on my homestead!! :)

Guess what? I beat you...we are in the FIFTIES Fahrenheit...it's insane. All that snow is going to have to find somewhere to melt, yeesh. And it's pouring rain too. Tonight it's supposed to go down to below zero so we'll have a darn skating rink out there. Not looking forward to that! I'm hibernating further lol! Hope Papa Pea is doing well! :)

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Leigh. Yes, the geese lounging around the water pan was taken on our last 30+ degree day so the water was warm for a little while at least. Not so the past two days when we've barely made it up to low single digits above zero!

Mama Pea said...

Coni - You're welcome to print out the poultry picture(s) for your Goddaughter. So good to know they are enjoyed!

Mama Pea said...

M - This arrangement has worked out very well for us this winter. The birds don't seem to want to wander out away from their shelters on all that frozen white stuff anyway so this keeps them confined but in a large enough space for the number of birds we have.

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Rain. I know your homestead will be full of happy, healthy critters some day soon. What fun to look forward to.

I don't like this crazy up and down of the temperatures! Sounds as though you're experiencing messy, wet, muddy spring weather right now in January. And you're right, the worst of it is when it turns frigid again and you have all the ice to deal with. Ugh.

Yes, Papa Pea is getting better every day. Thankfully!

Mark said...

Our girls enjoyed our warm day, too. The flock we have now is a bit wimpy, and they've pretty much sequestered themselves in the coop all winter.