I used to take care of a barn full of horses. I’ve worked in stables that were swept, mucked out and tidied. Tack gleamed. It was a full-time job. My chickens don’t need any of that, but old habits die hard. I use a fine-tined pitch fork to scoop out droppings. I take a broom to the cobwebs. I scrub the waterers clean. Since the coop is near my back door and right next to my neighbor’s driveway, these are good habits. Still, even an over-the-top caretaker like me puts only minutes a day into chicken care. It feels like a vacation compared to the horses.
Winter is a tad harder. Our outdoor spigots are turned off, so the waterers come inside into the laundry room to be filled, and it’s not fun to trudge through the snow with water dripping onto freezing hands. All animals need fresh water in the winter. The chickens have their water on a heater pad, so it never freezes. However, there’s no way to keep Candy’s water bottle from seizing up quickly in the cold. Luckily for her, all the bunny has to do is hop into the coop and drink from the chicken’s dispenser – something that she figured out all on her own. Clever bunny.