Chickens in the Greenhouse

A arctic blast was predicted. 15 degrees! This is the South you know! My  poor chickens will freeze. We humans have been puny with some kind of cold thing the last two weeks. So,  I did not get the chicken house insulated.  It is the first winter with this new chicken house. A cute design – but, shoddy material. Thin pine boards. I had put pressure treated  1x6s under the bottom of the sides. Thin little pine boards would be rotten in no time.

With this really cold weather ( wind chill of 3 degrees) I needed to catch the chickens and put them in the greenhouse. I keep it above freezing. First I moved my baby broccoli plants in there to safety.

The greenhouse

There was a missing chicken! After I put the other two in the greenhouse, I went looking for her. I found her. Dead and frozen. There was a big hole in her breast. It could have been a hawk that did not get a good swoop and only got one side, and could not carry her off. Or it could have been a possum. They will eat the breast and leave the rest. And they can climb anything! (One night we had a possum looking at us through a window up on the roof!) The garden fence is really secure. No over hanging limbs or nearby trees. Fence is buried, and next to huglekultur beds. So digging under is not an option.

The chickens were tramatized! They hid in the greenhouse. Under things for two days! Today, it warmed up and I moved them back outside. They had been  roosting on one of the shelves. So, I cleaned it up and used it to fertilize one of the beds. Outside the chickens hid under the rainwater tote tank, then next to a roll of fencing. All day they hid. I am suspecting it was a hawk that killed their flock mate. And it is still hanging around.

After a couple weeks of really cold weather, and having  a cold flu kind of thing. I finally got outside to insulated the inside of the nest/roost area with some left over space age insulation.

Then moved some hay bales in my cart to stack in the North side of the chicken house. I used a tomato cage to hold the hay close to the house.

I added some plastic to the door. It faces North. Bubble wrap is good!

Plastic door cover

That should keep them warmer. They are still trying to hid. They must have seen the hawk and are taking no chances. I also spread around some tomato cages. Just stuck them here and there in the different beds. The ones made out of concrete wire. Hawks don’t do well dodging things as the swoop!

 

 

 

 

 

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About Laura

After decades of gardening, I have embraced Permaculture as a way to continue gardening in the Winter of my life. I am converting traditional garden areas to Permaculture gardens. Massive project for an old woman. Like eating a elephant - one step at a time. Come along with me on this journey.

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