Thursday, March 8, 2012

Winter at the Coop

Our southeastern Canadian winters are usually slammed with snow and cold.  This year on the other hand, there has been little to no snow and we have been enjoying fall type weather all "winter" long.  We did get a few inches here and there but not much accumulation so far.  One of the larger snow falls this winter was the day before we headed to the coop.  It was over a weekend when I marched out through the snow bringing the chickens water and snacks.  I shoveled the snow out of their main run area as best as I could to allow them some room to scratch and peck.  It was neat to watch the chickens outside in the cold; once their feet were cold they hold up one foot close to their body for a few moments and then alternate feet.  They really are in fact smart animals.  The more I watch their behaviours the more I am amazed by them.
Snowy Run.
                             "Excuse me!"                                         "What are you lookin' at?"
Going down!
Big Red. 
Snack Time.  Most couldn't be bothered to come out of the coop even after I shoveled.
We have four different breeds out at the coop.  We have one single white egg layer "Houdini" who was a rescue from the  local animal shelter whom is a bantam.  Then we have the 24 production birds (possibly rhode island reds or ISA browns) producing the darkest of the eggs, 6 Chanteclers producing the lightest of the brown eggs and our 4 Barred Plymouth Rocks which produce the medium shaded brown egg.  We now get 4 different shades of eggs.  Washed up they look lovely.  Although, washing eggs is not recommended as it removes a protective layer called the bloom on the outside of the shell which keeps out bacteria.  You can also notice the difference in egg sizes in the photo on the left, the photo on the right is on an angle making the front eggs look deceivingly larger.  The white egg is smallest from the bantam bird and the 2 middle eggs are roughly the same size being from new layers.  Then there is the largest, darkest egg from the 1 year old production birds.

No matter how you look at things, chickens are quite fascinating birds.  They produce wonderful orbs of nutritional deliciousness, are clean, sweet, fun to watch and loaded with personality!  Once you are exposed to chickens in their natural environment free to nest, forage, dust bath, roost and behave as chickens should... it's impossible not to love them!


  1. Sarah - I was looking at your photos on FB, those wonderful ducks making a nest in your yard, and realized you have this great blog! So fun to find it. The blueberry nut bread looks delicious, your chickens are adorable, and apparently you're an awesomely entertaining mom to boot. All I can hope is that your house is a mess and that your car's full of trash and crushed cheerios. If not, well.. I'll still follow you. :)

    1. My house is definitely a mess... beyond belief and I only recently cleaned out my van since I hadn't seen the floor since my daughter was born! Glad you found the blog; it's a really cool way for me to journal about all the craziness in our lives. I also have a blog (recently made it private since my son is going off to school this fall) all about my kids and being a mom which I plan on getting made into a book one day to give to my children. I am sure my blog won't make you laugh hysterically as yours does for me, I simply love your humour!!