Friday, November 21, 2008

First Snow


Oh people. I am such a kid inside. Today we woke up to snow, snow neither of us had read was on the way, and I greeted it by hooting and hollering around the house with nothing but a pair of skivvies on, pulling back curtains in each room to review the beauty. What is it about snow that can transform a sleepy kid (or an adult just acting like a kid) into a streaking flash of energy when just moments before she had been bemoaning how cold it was this morning and instead of obeying the alarm clock, burrowing into the warm covers and positively toasty crook of her husband’s neck?

Anyway. We had bowls of steaming oats for breakfast, and I went out to visit the chickens who seemed a bit surprised by it all but mostly just fine. A note to any would-be chicken parents out there: we do not keep our waterer in the coop, due to space limitations. If your setup will share that feature, and if it gets cold enough to freeze a bowl of water, just buy this waterer and be done with it, you can just unplug it during the warmer months. We have been doing quite an early morning dance to get water to our girls, and honestly we probably haven’t been out there early enough. So down to the farm store I went and now we have two big waterers when you really only need one.

Speaking of the girls, they have been laying like absolute champs. We do have a little light on them in the early morning to stretch the day a bit, but not by much. I continue to feel for our two Rhode Island Reds – they really do get pecked and chased by our two head honchos, the Silver Laced Wyandottes. There has actually been some subtle reorganization at the top, and as you might imagine, I am endlessly fascinated by the rules of the flock. I would want to be one of our middle birds...they don’t seem to attract the attention of the bossy girls, but don’t seem to have to pick on anyone to maintain their rank. Yes, I am Heather the amateur chicken sociologist.

Enjoy the weekends out there.

9 comments:

Susy said...

We greet snow with equal excitement here at Chiot's Run. We started the week off with snow starting Sunday afternoon. Monday we woke up to 3 inches blanketing the earth and it's only been piling up all week. Not a day without white flurries. I hope it stays white all winter, it somehow makes everything brighter and more bearable.

rachel said...

Oh my goodness, I'm gonna pack my long undies! Do you promise it will snow while we're there? yay!

Alan said...

My kids, who I had to force outside this past fall while the weather was gorgeous, live for snow. As soon as we got an inch they were out in it, sledding, throwing, and playing for hours. Weird. Before snow they wouldn't go out because it was too cold. Today it is 28 deg and I can't get them to come in. They are wearing a bit more than you were when you greeted the snow...

machinelf said...

Heather, do you have that waterer that you recommended? Because we do, and we despise it. Unfortunately, we don't have warming stands that work with our other plastic waterers, so for now it's all we can use... :-(

Heather said...

Heya - we do have that waterer, although it's new to us so it's entirely possible that we just haven't discovered its pain-in-the-ass-ness yet. Filling it *is* a bit of a workout... (Note: one of us stands there with some water in a jug to hurriedly fill the base as the other one has just turned it over - thus a little bit heading off how not completely full it is right from the get-go.) Has yours had technical difficulties, or is it just the design that bugs you?

dig this chick said...

Dang, we haven't had real snow yet. And I live in Montana. Lame.

As for the waterer, so far we are totally fine without heat....and it was 16 degrees last night! I have found that the water doesn't freeze all the way through. I am certain it will be different when it is a high of 17 and low of zero and then we'll be scrambling (ha! the pun!). Let me know how your waterer turns out.

But I keep saying we are gonna get a timer with our bulb because we are getting just one sole egg per day from our three hens.

I really think bossy doesn't ever lay a thing because they are all brown and nowhere near your gorgeous turquoise. What am I to do? Stew? Ew. Yes, I have had several glasses of wine with a dear pal...

Heather said...

Oh dear, no stew! Two things: one, sometimes those girls do turn out to be brown egg layers (or so I was cautioned). Also, I had a friend in Portland (ha, this is how tall chicken tales start) who had a chicken who was something like 7 months before she laid her first egg. Plus I would think the winter and lack of daylight would also contribute to any delay. The lightbulb action will get you some eggs, for sure. You might slowly increase the light so you don't blow their minds entirely... Little chicken minds, just typing that makes me giggle...

machinelf said...

Well, compared to our normal waterers, it's a pain to get the base locked on correctly--you have to really get under there and eyeball the thing. Then once you turn it over, it fills the reservoir completely to the top, which makes carrying it from inside the house (we don't have a hose) lots of fun, but aside from that, it means that if it even sits on the slightest of inclines, (like say, a brick in a bed of wood chips), it will spill out, and continue to spill out, until it's empty. Whee! Then there's the electrical connection--the plug is part of the base, and when you have 20 birds crowding around a waterer, there's really nothing that's going to keep one from standing on the cord and pulling it right off that plug. And to top all of this off, the plastic is thin and weak, and I'm convinced that the cheap carrying handle is going to snap just as I'm lifting the full waterer over top of some young chicks and crush them. None of this was self-evident when we bought the thing of course... and I like the general idea of it... but, well, I guess my ranting says it all. YMMV :-)

Heather said...

I hear you. So far the locking has gone pretty easy on ours, but maybe with time we'll discover that element. One thing we do differently, is that we just carry the whole thing upside down rather than by those tiny handles. We also laid out some small pavers to create a flat, permanent surface for it, which helped with the spillage.

All that said, I am probably just so grateful to not be jumping out of bed first thing in the morning!!!