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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Now Playing in the Chicken Coop: FROZEN....

Why the cold doesn't bother me anyway - anymore!  For the first few years of keeping chickens, it was a daily frustration in the winter to keep fresh water for my girls because of the constant freezing. Usually, two to three times a day, I was struggling with getting the water containers open because they would be frozen closed - more than once, I ended up breaking the plastic base just trying to get the water flowing again.

 I finally settled on two solutions.  I now have two of these type of water containers for my ladies but only keep one in the coop at a time.  In the evening, I take the frozen one into the house to thaw overnight and switch it out in the morning so there is water available on a constant basis.  Chickens do drink a lot of water - much more than you would imagine!  In the winter, one chicken will drink about a half liter per day and in the summer, about three fourths a liter.

So when we tripled the size of our flock,  the one water container was not sufficient to last the day and it would take several hours for the frozen one to thaw.  I was going to just buy more plastic waterers but my husband found a great solution!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 We are lucky that we have electricity to our coop.  This is a heated metal base that you can put under your water container and it is like a little electric plate warmer.  You cannot use this on a water container with a plastic base but metal water containers are also available.    
With this set up, I am confident that there is a constant, clean water supply to set my chickens up to produce the best possible eggs they can.  I absolutely love having the freshest products available right in my own backyard.  The satisfaction I get from providing my family - and our friends- with eggs that are from happy hens brings me great joy.  

Did you know that, according to Mother Earth News, that eggs from pasture raised hens are more nutritious than eggs from hens kept in cages on factory-farms?  In 2003, researchers from Penn State reported that eggs like the ones I raise are three times higher in Omega-3s, have twice as much vitamin E and 40% more vitamin A.  

Good nutrition...great taste plus all the fun that comes from watching these curious creatures enjoy their free-range life....yep, I'll be keeping chickens as long as I possibly can.  Thanks for reading today.  


Star Schipp 

1 comment:

  1. Not to mention the color of the yolks are so much more golden than the ones from the store.