Should Chickens Hibernate?
The biggest issue for us concerning our chickens is keeping them well feed, watered and active. The cold, snow, lack of sunshine and limited day light do little to encourage the ladies to lay eggs so it leaves a fair amount of down time. Scratch grain, chicken crumble and veggie scraps help to keep them moving, fed and entertained with little effort. The water game on the other hand is a little more tedious.
We don’t have fancy electric heaters to keep the water from freezing so we are required to take frequent trips to retrieve, thaw and refill the water dispensers. This requires the use of a snow blower to keep the path easily accessible and a pair of Sorels handy and dry at all times.(not forgetting gloves and long underwear!)
The young farmers are somewhat helpful in the retrieving and redistribution of the water containers, however with a full school schedule it leaves much of the work to the bigger farmers. As we wait for the days to grow longer and for the chickens to once again begin to lay eggs on a regular basis we shall maintain our daily, seemingly unrewarding regiment. It leads us to wonder what if chickens hibernated all winter would less be headed off to the market or stew pot come fall in our frigid northern reaches? Food for thought literally!