Snow Delights the Dog, but the Chickens Hate it

Winter finally arrives at the homestead with temperatures in the twenties and a few inches of snow. More cold is expected.

Snowy road image by Ioannis Ioannidis from Pixabay.

Like much of the country, snow has chased away our warm weather. While we had a dusting of snow in the fall, this was our first significant accumulation for the 21/22 winter. What made it harsh was it rained for a few hours and then turned to snow as the temperatures dropped. This gave us a thin layer of ice under the snow. That made driving extra hazardous and required intensive scraping of your car window. We just stayed home.

It thrilled the dog to see a field of white fluffy stuff. We let her off the leash, and she pranced and galloped and ran and ran, making big loops around the house and visiting the neighbor’s field. She refused to come back inside for more than an hour. Finally, I went back inside and left the garage door open about a foot. Twenty minutes later, she was in the garage, wanting to come inside. No surprise that she slept most of the afternoon after all that exercise.

The good news is that the dog knows where her home is and she eventually comes home. The bad news is her “recall,” meaning coming when called, is terrible. Of course, they warned us that Anatolian Shepherds can be stubborn. The breed is smart enough to know what you want them to do but independent minded enough to decide whether or not they want to obey you right then. If she is intent on a smell, chasing a creature, or having fun, the promise of a treat, a toy or a pet will not distract her.

Sometimes I am not sure if we own her or vice versa.

The Chicken See Snow for the First Time

Our automatic chicken door was frozen in the down position. The birds were inside squawking and fussing, wanting to be let out. I opened the larger door, and they all rushed up to the opening, only to put on the brakes when they saw the snow. None of them wanted to go out and get their feet cold and wet.

I had planned to unscrew the automatic door, bring it inside, and thaw it out. This proved to be unnecessary as I was able to use the screwdriver to knock the ice off the top and out of the track, allowing it to open.

One brave rooster clamored out but seemed offended by the idea that I expected him to stand in the snow. He took refuge in the wheelbarrow, which was full hay and had no snow in it because we store it under the coop. Two other chickens came partway down the stairs and then hurried back inside.

All their fresh water is in the run, meaning they have to go outside to drink. I lifted one waterer inside coop so they could fill up. Watering chickens in their coop when it is cold is considered a bad idea because it increases the humidity and can contribute to frost bite, but I wanted them to drink. I took the waterer back out a few hours later.

Late in the afternoon, I checked on them again. They were outside under the coop and sitting on the outdoor roost. They didn’t look happy. I guess I have fair weather chickens.

That night, I had to use the crew driver to force the door closed. I guess a fair weather automatic door opener as well.

Snug by the Fire

After doing the chores, we stayed in. I left my boots and gloves near the wood stove to dry out and warm up, and then I did much the same. This was one of those days where you are happy to have a big pile of firewood inside. I can also say that this is the first time this year I went outside and said, “Brr, it’s cold!”

Sometimes, it’s good to read a book and ignore the outside world. That’s what I did today. I stayed off Twitter and didn’t watch any talking heads. I didn’t worry about the world ending or getting COVID-19. Late in the afternoon, we lost power, leaving me no choice but to toss another log in the woodstove and take a nap. The power was back on in time to cook dinner and watch Monday Night Football. It turned out to be a pretty good day.

Hope you had one too.

Author: The Pickled Prepper

Pete the Pickled Prepper lives on an isolated homestead on the side of a mountain deep in in rural America. He has been preparing for the end of the world for more than 25 years.

One thought on “Snow Delights the Dog, but the Chickens Hate it”

  1. Love this article… a natural escape from the world around us is necessary from time to time. Happy Winter!

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