It’s been more than a year since we found our very first egg nestled in the pine shavings and straw of our backyard coop. But finding the first egg certainly wasn’t the last of the “ovo-excitement” around here. Every time I open the hatch to the nesting box and see a freshly laid egg, I’m thrilled.
And when the days are short, the temperatures cold and the eggs come less frequently, I’m even more delighted to find a breakfast package waiting for me. Like all of the backyard chicken owners I’ve met, I thank the ladies (out loud. my neighbors may think I’m nuts) and then beeline for the house, cradling another precious egg.
There’s no question, the eggs are coming few and far between these days. Daylight hours are minimal. We’ve been battling below-zero temperatures for days. And right now we’re smack in the middle of a POLAR VORTEX! What does a polar vortex mean? Twenty-three degrees below zero when I woke up this morning. That’s all I need to know.
So, how’s my flock faring in the frigid temps? They’re not going outside much, I can tell you that much. Here they are this morning. And believe me, they were not happy with me when I opened their coop door to snap a few photos of them. They squawked in protest as a blast of cold air entered their home.
The heat lamp is keeping our flock cozy and warm in their coop. I’m constantly checking their vulnerable feet and faces to make sure they aren’t covered in ice. And I look out the back window regularly to make sure the lamp’s red glow is still visible.
And their water warmer is working extra hard to keep their hydration station from freezing solid.
But while the chickens are staying warm, their eggs aren’t always so lucky. I’m constantly trying to avoid this. A cracked, frozen egg discovered in the nesting box. A tragic waste.
I’m so over you, Polar Vortex.