Winter is definitely here. We had one snowstorm, followed by a melt, and a bigger one a few days ago. There’s been snow on the ground ever since then.
The chickens have not been happy with the weather. They’ve spent most of the past several days in the coop. This means they eat a lot of feed and poop a lot on the straw bedding.
What they are not doing is laying lot of eggs. Daisy, Pippi, and Nony are still molting and look pretty pathetic. Ella is mostly through her molting cycle and looks almost normal, but she hasn’t started laying again. Caroline is not molting at all (not sure why), but she quit laying eggs about a week ago after being the most reliable layer of the bunch. Despite the fact that they are molting, Pippi and/or Nony is still laying, but we’re getting one dominique egg every few days. Lame!
I dare not run the math of cost of organic chicken feed versus number of eggs per week.
In an effort to reduce the cost of their feed, I pulled out a small metal storage bin as a second compost container. Now we have the regular compost bin plus a “chicken scraps” bin. I’m trying to remember to put apple cores, pear bits, wilty greens, carrot ends, and all other chicken-friendly scraps into the dedicated container with the hope that the fresh food reduces their chicken crunchies consumption. Plus it gets them outside, at least for a few minutes, while they investigate the treats.
Fortunately, today seems to be less of an issue. The chickens have already been in and out–in the snow–several times this morning. Granted, it’s a little warmer and the snow is turning into slush. That means more ground is exposed and that means… mud!