IF you have good clothing … AND good shelter! (Direct quote – Outdoor Guru – Bill Sheffield)
Temperatures did a nose dive these past few days. The ‘flerd’ has their routines back in place to stay cozy on cold winter days. The chickens love the Clubhouse. I can’t help but compare it to the ‘Chicken Palace’ that blew down in the fall. This set up is MUCH warmer, secure from predators and easy to customize with bales and feeders … and even a heated dust bath for yesterday afternoon.
When the sun is shining the jennies know to make their way to the wind shelters in the front paddock. I loved coming down to find Bella all cozied up and asleep in the straw.
And Rosie tucked out of the wind beside the little barn. I brought her down some fresh water. They get toasty when the sun bakes their fur coats. The water only lasts for an hour or so in the sunshine. Then it is icy.
Meanwhile the goats are up on their ‘playground’ – also out of the wind and in the sunshine. Knowing everyone is warm and eating lets me slow down my morning chore routine. I can wait for things to get a little warmer before stirring everyone up.
When I show up everyone heads to the back paddock to supervise my efforts.
The windchill put us down to -30’C so I put up tarp doors on both sides of the jennies’ barn. There is a heat lamp in there that takes the bite out of the air. That meant the chickens decided they would hunker down in there as well. Throughout the day I would glance at our ‘nanny cams’ to see all twelve chickens sleeping at the feet of Rosie and Bella as they ate. The jennies don’t mind the chickens one bit – in fact I think they find them interesting to watch.
Goats being goats quickly puts an end to all that fraternizing. They have taken over Darby’s role as the ‘cue ball’ factor. 😉 I clean the coop, collect the eggs and bring the tractor through the gate before calling Dottie and Mae down to play a while.
There is a grudging peace between them and the jennies as long as I am around. If I head off to the other paddock and leave the goats behind (their choice) I will look back to see them bouncing and zooming along the path to catch up as Rosie will chase them off. Although … there are times if I settle in that the four of them actually play – especially if they start running.
When I spend time working out front the whole group joins me there. On a sunny day they have this favourite spot that is out of the wind and a great place to soak up the rays. I was amused to find the goats standing with Bella and Rosie. Those goats rarely stand still anywhere. 😉