Homesteading in the Winter Series: Post 3 – Cold Weather Animal Care

I am taking part in a posting series related to the topic of “Homesteading in the Winter.”

Each Thursday there will be a new post on a different issue associated with the needs and unique challenges of living on a homestead (big or small, urban or rural) during the winter.  I am a teaming up with several other bloggers to bring you this series.

Today’s topic is “Cold Weather Animal Care.”  The participating blogs for this week include:

The Homesteading Hippy
Timber Creek Farm
House Barn Farm
Whistle Pig Hollow
The Not-So-Modern Housewife –
Fresh Eggs Daily –
Homegrown on the Hill
Schneider Peeps –
Blue Yurt Farms
The Browning Homestead at Red Fox Farm

After reading my post, please take a few minutes to visit these other blogs and learn about what taking care of animals in the cold is like where they live. 

So yesterday I told you that you’d get two posts from me about chickens this week and that was true.  Today you get your second post on chickens.  Sadly, it won’t be as exciting as some of my other posts. If you recall, I live in Phoenix….. so, cold weather animal care?  Well…. just not that exciting.  

So I’ll start off with a story instead. 

Yesterday a pigeon got into one of my chicken coops.  It was wild.  My gold retriever was REALLY upset by this situation and was barking and running around the coop.  I went out to check on all the commotion and I saw the pigeon.  I wasn’t really sure what to do.  So, like any bewildered person, I stood there and stared.  At first the pigeon just sorta flew around and landed in different places in the coop.  And then….. all of a sudden… one of my dear, sweet barred rocks (affectionately named “Grandma”) attacked!  A full on attack!  She jumped on the pigeon and began pecking at its back and pulling feathers out like crazy!  It was insane.  I had to break up the bird fight because my kids were watching and I didn’t feel like my 4, 3 and 1 year old needed to see it.  After that, I thought about bringing my chickens into my house as guard chickens…..train them to attack intruders! 

Anyhow, that had nothing to do with cold weather animal care, but I wanted to give you at least SOMETHING for taking the time to click over to my blog and see what we are up to.  

That said, winters are mild here in Phoenix.  For goodness sake, that is the ONLY reason anyone lives here.  Last year I saw the lowest temperature I’d ever seen in Phoenix.  It got down to about 20 degrees.  Granted, that IS cold but it was only that cold for a very short time and there, of course, was no snow or anything.  Winters are VERY dry.  

Overall, from what I’ve read, chickens tend to do pretty well in colder weather.  I’ve never had to heat or insulate my coops.  When I first put my chicks out in the coop full time, I do put a heat lamp in there for a couple of weeks at night just to be sure that they are ok.  

And just for kicks here are a couple of pictures of my family playing with chickens in coats…. that’s about all I can offer on this topic.  But honestly, visit the blogs listed above.  They all have WONDERFUL information to share about taking care of your animals in the winter. And if you have any great information to share on the topic, please leave your thoughts in the comments. 


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