Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Care for Chickens in the Dead of Winter

Taking care of chickens in Palmer, Alaska 
is no easy feat. In just the past 12  days our daytime low temperatures have fluctuated from a low of -18 degrees to a warm....tropical zero today. Last week we had winds in the 60mph range and the wind chill factor put us at -29 degrees. You have to have really strong structures that are able to resist high winds and to protect animals from the wind chill. I had one of my best hens escape from the pen, just like in the movie "Chicken Run". She didn't last long. She froze in the standing position. We decided to just leave her and use her as a winter yard decoration until the Spring thaw. You have to heat everything here. Our chicken barn is heated with infra-red lights. and all of the water containers must have individual heaters.
Red Fence Farm hand, Keoni Quilinderino, can tell you that chores, especially water chores on the farm, have to be completed quickly or you'll have a big frozen mess on your hands. Keoni, in each of the photos, reminded me that one of the best things to do for your chickens during the long, dark, cold winters in Alaska is to hug your chicken everyday.




3 comments:

  1. Okay... I'm done complaining about how cold it got in East Tennessee!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That farm hand of yours looks like he really knows how to handle a chicken!

    ReplyDelete