On Monday the chickens didn't seem overly stressed out by the moderate dusting of snow we had received the night before. They pretty much went around the yard up to their normal shenanigans.
The only difference was their resemblance to a flock of flamingos standing on one foot whenever they needed a break. Apparently their "feet were cold." Who knew.
That night they slept in their coop, but were chagrined to wake up to about 3 solid inches of snow on he ground. All day Tuesday they simply sat under their coop refusing to set a single foot on the snow. This did present a problem as the new heated water bowl we bought them only has a 6-foot cord and they would not venture over to the side of the house where it was.
To make matters worse the forecast predicted -5 degrees for that night. We'd been talking over ideas for a while of what we thought we should do for their winter situation, but never acted. So now the time came that required immediate action.
So Tuesday night in the dark, with 4 inches of snow on the ground, amid a swirling snowstorm, and a toddler crying out the screen door at us the whole time (because he'd refused to let us put a hat on him and then tore his boots off during his temper tantrum and therefore was not allowed outside. . . ) Jeremy and I detached the run from the chicken coop and lifted the coop (trying-to-sleep-chickens and all), and carried it 20 feet to the side of our house, and shoveled out a spot for it to sit.
There it will hopefully be more protected from the wind, have a bit of insulation on the one side, and be close enough to the outlet that we could put a heat lamp in there for them, and so that when we get the run connected to it again that their heated water bowl will be within the walls of their run.
Being farmers isn't easy.
The coop definitely doesn't look pretty right now. We've got to get the run reattached before we leave for Christmas so the chickens will be protected, and we probably should replace their sagging roof. But as it was Jeremy thought the humble conditions looked seasonally appropriate. All we need is a manger to add to our impromptu crèche and we'd have our very own "Live Nativity" scene.