Winter Workout for Chicken Tenders

Here we are, beginning a new calendar year. We’ve eaten all the seasonal treats, become totally confused about what day it is because of all the mid-week holidays, and generally had a good time. Now, it is back to our jobs and our health and fitness routines. I do have an inexpensive gym membership, which I use frequently. However, my DIYet gives me plenty of exercise opportunities at home. Today I did a full-body work out just for chicken tenders. Want to see what that looks like?

Warm up and stretch: I let the ladies out of the coop. They were excited to get out. They were less excited when they realized that the yard is covered in snow. They eventually found some open dirt along the back fence and settled in for a dirt bath while I scrubbed and dried the roosting grate and platform.

I originally planned a cardio cycle of getting Johnny Cockran into the roosting box, but he walked right in on his own. The hens like to hang out in the yard, and getting them back in can be a little difficult. Johnny, however, will fight you to stay outside. We have decided that keeping him in the coop/run is best for everybody.

I therefore moved on to the Resistance Cycle- Mucking out the run. It is hard to keep the birds’ feet dry in the winter. Just the little bit of condensation that forms on the bedding builds up. That is why a regular full cleaning of the run is important.

Even more importantly, that sludgy stuff you see mixed in to the straw isn’t manure. It is spilled food that has gotten wet and started to spoil and ferment. The chickens can get sick from eating bits of spoiled food, so we certainly cannot have that around. I worked my back, arms and abs scraping the used litter into a bucket. Hauling the bucket and dumping it in the compost heap worked my legs.

Next came a Focused Abdominal Cycle- spreading the clean litter. This essentially required me to plank inside the run. I also got a really artsy-fartsy photo of A.J. and Misty Coopland.

Finally, I got that Cardio Cycle in- chasing the hens around to get them back into the coop. Most of them were pretty easy to coax inside. Mallory Archer was not bothered by the snow and seems to have developed superior evasion skills. I finally cornered her in the garage. While she pecked at her own reflection in an old window I scooped her up.

While all this excitement was happening, Misty laid an egg. It’s nice when your workout partners bring the snacks, right?

Today was just barely above freezing in central Massachusetts and the wind was quite gusty. The sun is still weak at this latitude. It would have been a good day to curl up with a book or a bad movie and drink tea. Owning chickens is a 365-day-per-year job, however. They physical work of caring for feathered family members is part of the deal. To me, it is all 100% worth it. I have eggs to eat, fertilizer for my garden, happy chickens to listen to, and I got in a workout. How does your DIYet help your overall health? Share in the comments section!