Ready to Feather the Storm!
So much has been going on at Food It Yourself HQ since mid October! We harvested the second round of crops. Yes, there were enough green beans to serve at Thanksgiving dinner. We had a full electrical upgrade and rewiring done, after which, we insulated our attic. I bought a new (to me) vehicle. Most importantly, Mr. Food It Yourself and I devised a new strategy to winterize the chicken coop.
In previous years, we relocated the coop and run to be adjacent to the garage, as that is where we had access to electricity. Doing so allowed us to add lights to the run and to keep the water trough defrosted with a birdbath heater. It also left our hens with a tiny run, compared to what they are used to. This lead to bored, angry, tempestuous hens who plucked each other’s feathers. This year, we very cleverly asked our electrician to put an outdoor outlet on the back of the house. Now the hens will keep their large run!
I can not stress this enough. All chords, lights, and electric devices used in this set-up are rated for outdoor use. Seriously, do not do stupid things. Get the right stuff. Do not endanger yourself or your flock.
Yes, we had to make some financial investments on the electric door, lights, new waterer, and plastic tarp. We also replaced the large tarp over the top of the run with one that will better withstand snow. We are giving our flock extra food and treats, also. Those expenses add up. It is worth it to know we are taking the best care possible of our chickens. The proof that we are doing it right? The hens have given us more eggs this week than they did in the previous month.
Looking for ways to winterize your coop?
- If you like the idea of an automatic door, here is a link to the one Mr. Food It Yourself purchased. We have a coop from the same manufacturer, but there are instructions for installing it on any coop.
- Here is that frost-free water trough we bought.
- Our light timer has a remote control. We do not need the remote control, but we figure it will be easier to change the lighting times from inside the house, if necessary, rather than wading through the snow.
Winter in central Massachusetts is not always pleasant. We owe it to the animals we care for to keep them safe, secure, and as comfortable as possible. What are you doing to get your animals, or plants, through the winter? Share in the comments!