Tuesday, 18 December 2012

An icy day

Winter has definitely arrived in Wales. Some parts of the country have had snow - we haven't been that (un)lucky yet. We have had an abundance of frosty mornings though.

My understanding is that chickens aren't too bothered by temperatures around freezing. They'll live in areas that drop to -20 centigrade (certainly not something we have here). They'll happily huddle together at night for warmth and don't seem bothered by frozen ground in the day. There are just one or two little things that we have to be careful about while the weather is like this.

The main problem is that their water container has a tendency to freeze over. Some days this just means cracking the ring of ice around the bottom and flicking it out so that the fresh water from inside can flow out again. Other days the ice has been more widespread and has meant we've been bringing the whole thing in and sitting it under a warm tap in order to get it all back to normal again.

Another cold weather thing we've been thinking about is a change to their food. When topping up our supplies of pellets for the girls, we noticed they were on multi-buy with mash. As far as I know pellets and mash are exactly the same food - its just that one sort has been formed into pellets to make it easier to handle. You can treat them the same and feed either as dry food, but you can also mix the mash with water for a porridge-like consistency. Several other chicken bloggers have said they make up warm mash on particularly cold mornings and we thought that sounded like a good but potentially messy idea. As yet we haven't found time to give it a go though. Maybe as we're home more over the Christmas holidays we'll give it a try - I'll let you know how we get on.