Snow Day

Snow fell all day on Saturday. As it came down, it seemed like a big storm, but the snow was light and dry and by nightfall there were only a few inches on the ground. Still, it’s enough so that it finally looks like winter. Sunday morning dawned cloudy but bright; the shadows blue.

It was 12 º F when I did my chores, but without a wind, and with my warm barn coat and gloves on, it felt good to be outside. However, the hens did not want to leave their coops.

The cold wasn’t bothering them at all. What kept them in was the snow – chickens don’t like walking in it. I shoveled out a space, but they still looked dubiously out their doors.

I mucked out the goat stall and instead of dumping the used bedding into a compost pile, I spread it at the base of the pop-door ramps. Everyone happily stepped out into the sunshine.

Candy likes snuffling around in the goats’ discarded hay, but she likes snow even more. She hopped over to the side of the pen where leaves have blown and piled against the fence. Candy pulled out the leaves,

and then munched.

At least Candy approves that I didn’t do a thorough fall yard cleanup!

So, despite  the well-below freezing temperatures and snow on the ground everyone is comfortable and content. Even the goats don’t mind this airy snow. It reflects light onto them, ideal for sleepy sunbathing.


  1. My chickies feel the same way about snow. We had about 2″ overnight Friday night; when I opened the chicken-doors on Saturday morning, the hens just looked at me and said “You’re kidding!”. They finally stepped out after I shoveled a space,put out a bag of dry leaves, and scattered around a little scratch feed. Today we have a sheet of ice!

  2. I’ve rescued many a hen from the snow. I always open the pop door even though I know they will not venture out in it. But what inevitable what happens is that as they come to the pop door stand on the legde the push from behind will send one, two, maybe three flying widely across the run. Then they just sit there if the snow is more than 3 or 4 inches just looking at me so pitiful. ;-)

  3. Candy is just the cutest thing. When I see your posts, it makes me seriously want to get a bunny.

  4. I do the samething with my goat’s old hey. My chicken yard is half into the woods so it’s not wet with slush. The cold is much better then heat on the girls. I love this blog! Thanks

  5. Candy is the cutest! I recently came across your blog and was inspired to start blogging about my own urban chicken efforts, which I am just starting this spring. I am so happy to have found such great resources like this!

  6. I used Terry’s suggestion of hanging a cabbage inside the coop on wet days when they shouldn’t be out, and once they got over “what’s this thing swinging around in our coop”, my girls really got into it. Thanks Terry, great idea. Yes, what is the purpose of that C.D.?

  7. Hi All- The CD is there to keep the wild birds out. This is a trick that I learned on my visit to England last year. A Sussex breeder had one hanging in the doorway of each broody coop and said it kept the sparrows out. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I did have to introduce the CD slowly to the girls because if you hang it smack dab in the doorway they’ll be too scared to go in or out. I hung it and lowered it in increments over the course of the week. I also have old CDs hanging from the hawk netting. On sunny days the CDs send bright bands of light out in a random pattern. It does seem to have cut down on the sparrow problem. I think it also worries predators. Give this trick a try and see what you think and let me know.

    • Darn…I thought this was the CD, “Roosters on Parade”, that they popped into the player late at night after all humans went to bed.

  8. Candy’s so cute with the snow on her face! The picture of contentment.

  9. I have yet to hear of any chicken breed other than Scots Greys who don’t hate snow. Scots Greys seem the only breed that takes in stride, acourse the ones I know off live in Scotland. So they have to get used to the snow fairly quickly. Though they do hate ice more than snow, and hate slipping on as much as humans do.

  10. During the fall we collect bags of leaves from friends and when it snows I throw a bag or two of leaves into their run. They come out and dig through them for hours….especially if I throw a little corn in there. Fun.