Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Cold Weather Watch

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I keep five chickens, mainly so that we can have fresh eggs throughout the year, but also because I love to watch them on a daily basis - they make me laugh!

I have been a bit worried about them during this cold snap - they were very reluctant to come out of the barn at all and were slightly perplexed as to what snow was - but now they seem to come and see me on the patio most days, mainly in the hope of a treat. I have been cooking them pasta and rice to keep them stocked up against the cold, along with their normal pellets and corn with grit and they seem to love the extra carbs - I hope it keeps them warm as it’s been mighty cold at night recently!

Chickens are such good entertainment and mine can be quite naughty! They have a habit of eating the windfall apples from under the tree. Now, I let them do this as I thought it was a treat for them to have all those apples, but that was until I realised that they were in fact drunk. This became apparent one Sunday afternoon when they tottered across the patio and started walking into the window. It took me a while to realise the problem but then we had to catch them (not easy) and get them back in the barn. And there they stayed, confined to barracks, for a few days until they were back to normal!

Wild birds should not be forgotten during the cold either and I have been putting out bird seed every day so that they can get a bit extra to eat. Remember to put out fresh water as well and change it when it freezes over - this is often forgotten during the winter but birds don’t eat snow very well so they need fresh water on hand at all times.

The garden lies dormant under the snow at this time of year so it’s a good opportunity to continue with your plans for the growing season and wait for the frosts to clear. But there is always something going on - we have bulbs coming up aplenty - I can’t wait for Spring and the promise of beautiful flowers, bluebells and the onset of warmer weather.

Happy bird watching. Until next time.

-- Jane Dubinski

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