When I look out in to my garden, I see a six inch covering of snow. Everything is white and sparkly and beautiful. Icicles hang from the Palace's roof and frosted spiders webs decorate the fence. Where once there was water there is now ice. And where once there were eight chickens pootling about the garden there are now....well, no chickens pootling about the garden.
The chooks are refusing point blank to engage with the weather in any way, shape or form. They make brief excursions out in to the run to eat and drink, but that's it. The rest of the time they are holed up in the coop no doubt muttering darkly about the lack of sunshine and heat. I make frequent visits to break the ice in the drinker and check on my feathered friends. No amount of bribery will bring them out of the Palace. I even tried throwing an enticing handful of corn out on to the frozen tundra, but they watched the arc of the treat fly through the air like specatators at Wimbledon and then stared at me. The message was clear: you'll have to do better than that.
Keeping them clean and warm has been a bit of a challenge if I'm honest. The newspaper I use under the perch was frozen to the coop floor this morning and when it finally came loose, peeled off in a solid sheet. Thankfully the copious amount of poo was similairly frozen and adhered to said sheet. I found myself in the strange position of trying to fold this befouled tabloid in to the compost bin. It wasn't as brittle as you'd expect. The girls watched all of this from the perches in the run and complained bitterly about being temporarily evicted from their quarters. Replacing the paper and perch, I threw in a few handfuls of woodshavings to help with the extra dung being produced by eight housebound hens.
Here's hoping that the arctic conditions let up soon.