Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Farming in the Freezing Cold

Living, as we do, in Canada, we face farming in the freezing cold. This week we're experiencing below-normal temps and having kept our older laying hens longer than usual to supply our growing market demand, we are now experiencing the difficulties of winter. Our little coop is not insulated, therefore not winter-proof. We keep our larger young layer flock in an insulated barn where they easily keep each other warm.

The water, in the coop where the senior layers live right now, is easily kept thawed using an electric heat tape. The chickens keep each other warm enough to survive, but their laying production rates definitely go down if the temperature in their coop gets too low. In addition, the eggs need to be collected every hour or two if we hope to salvage any because they freeze and crack allowing contaminents into the egg and rendering them inedible for human comsumption.

Thankfully, most of our senior layers have found retirement homes on various local acreages. A few remain, headed for the stew pot or an unfortunate demise with the local friendly fox that's been lurking around...maybe they'll help us snare the fox?! Better to catch one now than six in spring!! Can't let those critters multiply around a chicken farm...been there, done that! Not pretty!

No comments: