First we grab a buckets of hot water for the laying birds (and unplug the electric fence). Even with heat lamps, the water will still freeze, and warm water warms the birdies too. A 2nd bucket of warm water is on standby for the trip out to the meat birds coop, accessed through the barnyard.
First stop - laying flock coop, all closed up for the night. They get fresh water and their feed topped up.
These gals (and 2 roosters) haven't been outside for days. I guess Club Hen (heat lamp and indoor feed & water) is keeping them distracted from the chilly weather.
Hmmm....miniature skating rink for hens? Here's what happens when you don't have a trough heater. The big red bucket in the background is heated though, and is working fine for Stella, Lassie, Berry & the old hens. Out to the meat bird coop with a bucket of hot water and a bucket of feed. They stay indoors during the chilly temps too.
Past the remnants of the loose hay we cut this summer. Boy did we learn a lot about storing loose hay. Can't wait to build the 2nd half of the barn with a big loose hay bin. But then again, Stella may just eat all the grass so we don't have to cut any.
After the meat birds are fed, it's out to the run-in to fill the manger with hay, scatter some scratch and COB (corn/oats/barley with molasses) for the old red hens. Meanwhile, the dogs are running around in the snow, looking for poopsicles on the compost pile and generally being idiots.
Then open the coops (not that anyone will venture out into the cold), plug in the electric fence, refill the wood box, holler for the dogs, and hope the frostbitten fingers are only temporary.
Such are the joys of country life in winter!