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Winter chicken run

MaryHelen and Dee Landergren
live just north of Boston, where their chickens seem to be thriving in
the aftermath the recent Nor’easter.  Dee explained that, despite
21 inches of fluffy snow, their polycarbonate winter run provided plenty
of play space for the flock.  “Temp outside never got above 14F,
but the inside of the run reached 36F, enough to melt most of the snow.”

Chickens eating oatmeal

MaryHelen chimed in to show
how her flock enjoyed an oatmeal treat.  “What?  No apples in
our oatmeal this time?” one hen seemed to be saying. “I think Val took
two gulps of oatmeal so let’s dive in now before she hogs it all —
enough of her; my turn!” cackled another.  “I can’t see anything up
your nose, Quinn.  Are you sure you can

feel something?” a third hen replied.

Heat tape chicken watererOn
a more serious note, Dee explained: “The last picture is tough to see,
but I wanted to show that the waterer I made out of PVC wrapped in heat
tape, was still working at the nipple, but freezing into a stalagmite
before the hens’ dribbling could reach the sand (single digits for
several days).”  (You can see
other heated PVC pipe waterer here and here.)

Dee concluded:

“Today was in the 40s so all the snow is gone and the chickens have been out in the small, real, outdoor run.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll let them in to the larger grazing area.”

If Dee and MaryHelen can keep such happy  winter chickens in Massachusetts, the rest of us should be able to follow suit!

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