Chickens and snow

Our chickens hate the snow almost more than the goats and will refuse to come out of the coops during the day.  We deal with that by spreading leaves on the ground outside their coop door.

While our town collects fall leaves packaged in large paper bags, the next two towns collect fall leaves in clear plastic bags.  Usually in late October,we drive around in the farm truck and pick up as many as we can and bank the outside of the coops with layers of the bags to prevent drafts.  Being in plastic, the leaves stay crisp and dry.

As the snow storms come and go over the winter, we open up a bag or two for the chickens as needed.  The chickens come out, scratch contently and poop on the leaves and get some fresh air.  By spring, the leaves break down into a nice loam.  If we don’t use up all of the leaves, we add them to the compost pile in the spring.

Also once a week or so, we open up a bag inside of the coops to entertain the chickens and freshen up the coop.  As those leaves compost with the cedar shavings, hay waste and chicken manure, the coop is warmed.

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