Tuesday, January 22, 2013

COLD!

We currently in a ridiculously cold bout of weather here in PA.  I watch the temp in my car drop from 19 deg to 14 deg in just an hour from 6-7pm.  When I got home from work tonight, we left the gang out to forrage a bit.  They were out in the run all day and feeling bad, I warmed them up some oatmeal for a snack.  Not knowing exactly what frost bite looks like, I decided we should coat their combs/waddles with some vaseline, just in case.  Genevieve helped me with the task and even handled Lila for me.  He took the opportunity to peck her in the hand as she tried to get his waddles.  Darn Lila!  The gang ended up on the deck looking in the back door, so I let one in.  Grun came in and I picked her up and checked her out and warmed her up.  Her waddles felt like ice!!!  After minutes later, I checked again and they were radiating heat!  Even their feet and legs were cold.  Poor girls!  I decided I would close off their door tonight so they can't get in the run in the morning.  If it's this cold tomorrow, we might try a day of leaving them in the coop.  I hate to do it, but it seems they aren't smart enough to stay out of the cold wind.  I just hope there is enough ventillation in the coop.  There is a vent hole in the roof and the thing isn't sealed up perfectly, but the birds give off alot of moisture and moisture in this cold will actually give them frostbite!  I will check them in the morning and hopefully greet them with a warm breakfast!  I did give them a scoop of scratch before they went in for the night....the meal will help boost their metabolisms and warm them up. 

I also checked on their water...cleaned and bleached the waterer and filled up with fresh.  The homemade heater is working great and there was no ice in the waterer.  The container is nice and warm and hopefully some of that is warming the air in there just a bit.  I have good cold hearty breeds, so there shouldn't be any issues and I'm sure this cold spell won't go on much more than a week, but I still worry about them!  They were already on the roost bars when I went to close off the door.  The girls had their little heads tucked under feathers, so they definitely will keep themselves warm.  Lila will not tuck his head as he is always on alert.  He's the one I worry about the most with the frostbite.  I do worry about his mean butt!  hahaha 

Here's hoping the gang makes it through the cold ok!  I did get 4 eggs today, although I really think they may have been frozen!  None of the shells cracked, so they are still usable. 

I'll leave you with lyrics from a song I used to sing in Camp Fire Girls.

It's gonna be a long winter
and what will the birdies do then?
the poor things.

They'll fly to the trees
just to keep themselves warm

and tuck their heads under their wings.
the poor things.
and tuck their heads under their wings.

Going to tuck my head under my covers! 
Malissa