Getting Outside

It’s important for the animals to get outside.

Chickens need fresh air and exercise. As I write this, it’s 9° F, cloudy, and there is snow on the ground. Given their druthers, the Ladies would have a lazy, indoors day. I lure them out with leftover cooked rice and cantaloupe. In normal weather I wouldn’t feed such a large portion of rice – too many carbs mess up the protein and mineral balance –  but they’ll burn off the calories staying warm. I’m happy to see them out and energetically foraging. More snow is forecast tomorrow. It’ll be another indoors day.

hens outside

Meanwhile, the dogs are limited to shoveled pathways.

Lily is big enough to air scent over the mounds of snow on the ground. She’s still doing her job. She’s keeping watch.

Lily air scenting


All that little Scooter can see is white. That’s 40 inches of snow. He hurries down the snow trench to do his business.

Trotting off


And he gallops back.

Scooter running

The dogs say Enough, already!


  1. yes been a tough few weeks here in new england, a lot of work just keeping all the critters safe and healthy. Dog is probally hardest, she cant have her walks, a little path is not enough for a dane, will most likely take her to industrial park today for quick walk around buildings, not very pretty (we usually go in woods) but it will have to do.

  2. I’m with Lily & Scooter! My dog can’t see over the massive snow piles here in Maine, either. My chickens don’t care at all for the snow. Yesterday, it was cold, but the sun was shining. I opened the main entry door of the coop to let the sun in. The girls poked their heads out, said “no way!” and turned back inside. They did take advantage of the sun shining in, though – all 17 birds took a long dust bath in the shavings near the door. A couple actually utilized the two dust bins I have for them; one falling asleep in it. Happy, happy! Enjoy your day!

  3. My class full pre k kids are enjoying the snow vicariously. They come in every morning asking that I pull up the hen cam on our promethian board so that they can check on everyone. Wishing you well! And thanks a million!
    Ms Matassa’s class.
    PS they have renamed the hen with all the beautiful feathers down to her “little chicken feet”. They are always on the look out for Mrs. Fluffybottoms. (said in a pronounced British accent, although all these kids are from suburban Harvey across the river from New Orleans)

  4. Really feeling for you guys and I know you’ve got a long way to go. Have a quick question, when all the snow melts and the run gets muddy, some of this must get on eggs , are you a washer or a wiper or do nothing, I have read conflicting reasons for each?? Our small amount of snow has nearly all gone, but we do get a lot of rain.!!

  5. That’s crazy claustrophobic snow! Is Phoebie enjoying it as much as Candy did?

  6. Terry are the corn cobs the gems have in feeders frozen as we cannot get fresh here now and I would like to give my girls some???

  7. This made me think of my dog Jake who just passed. He was a collie/husky mix and he adored the snow. He would have out there face shoveling a path and jumping and rolling in the stuff till he collapsed panting like he’d just run a race. He never met a snow he didn’t like. Miss my puppy.

  8. At 00.45 am this morning (05.45am in England) your HenCam temperature read 0 degrees F and it usually gets colder an hour or so later I’ve noticed (I didn’t get to see it though today)

  9. My chickens, when I had some, got frostbite or their combs got frozen in weather not near as cold as you are having. Even though they had a coop to stay in if they wanted, sort of like yours. Do you have that trouble?

  10. I live in Hawaii. It is beautiful but too warm. I will send some of it your way. Good luck.

  11. We just had snow in England! About 1 cm and has now melted :o( Scooter makes me laugh when he runs out to go potty then charges back inside.

  12. Hi, interesting watching how birds cope with snow like that. I’m in New Zealand and we’re currently in the middle of Summer – 24-28C and most days cloudless, although today we have cloudless with strong Westerly winds. Certainly ruffling my girls feathers!
    I don’t get on here half as often as I like but I love reading the articles, watching the animals (I have to work out the different time zones for that).
    Keep up the great work, it’s really appreciated.

  13. I enjoy your site…..I’m a huge animal lover…I live in an area where the deer cut through my yard frequently.. I worry they will not find enough to eat…..also have a bunny living under my deck….do I feed it? or leave it alone.

    • Always leave the wild animals be. Feeding the deer will change their wild habits of moving frequently, and that will set them up for predation by coyotes. The bunny, I’m sure, is finding grasses under the snow. Leave her be, too.