Winter Prep

Time to dig out the shovels and ice scrapers that have been safely hiding in garages since May. In just a mater of hours we went from autumn to full blown winter! Luckily though we had a few day warning though.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or in another country the greater part of the United States has been hit with a giant Polar Vortex of sorts sending most of the country into January like winter conditions! Icy cold temperatures, and FEET of snow (poor Buffalo NY). Last January I did a post titled, “So, you’re going to have a Polar Vortex?” Now luckily our temperatures are no where near what they were during the Polar Vortex of January 2014, but we did have to do a bit of winter prep.

1.) Food
On deer opener we were blessed that our good family friend and my husband both bagged deer. So between 70-80lbs of venison, our chickens butchered from this past summer and our eggs we probably won’t be going hungry all too soon.

2.) Chickens
We added a new level of required preparation this year! We had to ensure that our sweet chicks would be adequately warm! We covered the entire coop, and run in thick contractors plastic, and added in more straw. We moved their food out into the open a bit so they wouldn’t spill it gathering around for a meal, and hung some cabbage (that you can see on the ground). The other thing we did was added a heated dog bowl, which activates when the temperature drops below 40. It doesn’t make the water warm, but it does keep it from freezing which is about perfect.

Our girls seem to be doing okay (even though we have had lows all the way down in the single digits and sub zero windchill), I desperately want to add a heatlamp to the coop, or the run, but logic, books, and heaps of blogs tell me not to! They are a recipe for fires, and chickens produce quite a bit of heat regardless. My favorite chicken blogger has assured me in myriad posts that my girls will be just fine!

We are continuing to get about 2 eggs per day. Sometimes just one, and sometimes three. I’ve had to adjust how often I go out however. When it was “autumn” I went out after work, but I’ve grown to learn their laying patterns and they lay at nearly 7:30 a.m. every single morning. So if I don’t want frozen cracked eggs which are of no use to me, then I must go when the girls are laying! The other day I even caught the egg as it came out of one of the hens.

3.) Warmth

Praise the Lord above for warmth! We had no time to acclimate to the cooler temps by it gradually getting cooler, so we purchased a full cord of wood, and have been having fires nearly ever night since our first snow fall. Since the wood comes in long pieces – Jason has to chainsaw through, and I help haul and stack the wood. I stopped by Fleet Farm last Friday and bought these mint choppers! They kept my hands toasty warm, and are extremely protective against slivers, and are rugged enough to handle any MN winter chores!

Share below. What are you doing to prepare for the winter season?

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