Blizzard Chicks

We've officially survived January with the flock intact.  While February can still be plenty cold, of course, I thought we were in for a little more light, at least.  But it seems this Winter still has some bite left in it.

Sweet Husband said that when he went to let the ladies out this morning, Kaki the Duck stuck her head out, cocked it sideways, and had to deliberate for a few seconds before deciding to venture out.  Nonetheless, she and her sisters still waddled out for their morning "constitutional" splash in their wee "pond".

IMG_4924
After that it was back to their covered run with the (much more sensible) chickens, where all bunkered down for the morning in piles of fresh, fluffy straw.  

Which turned out to be not as cozy as I had hoped.  When I went out to check on the Ladies around noon, I noticed quite a bit of snow was blowing in.  Our coop has stayed warm and dry for a few run-of-the-mill snowstorms now, but apparently blizzards are another matter.  Armed with a staple gun and some sheet plastic, Sweet Husband and I spent an hour or so making the run and coop more snow resistant.  The Ladies seemed most appreciative, helping us scatter their straw to make their home more snow proof.  

IMG_4921

I've been trying to keep life interesting for them, even in their self-imposed confinement--a "flock block" to peck at, some fresh veggies from the grocery store, a bowl of warm oatmeal with blueberries and honey every now and then (that's what I like for breakfast, so I figure they probably do too)--but I can still tell they're living for the days that are warm enough to peck and scratch in the yard. 

As for January egg laying, Miss Ingrid was back from her molt-and-Winter-induced hiatus at 23 eggs, but Alanis--who started laying a month later, but hasn't taken a break yet--is still keeping up with 20 eggs.  I'm a little impressed, actually.  'Lani is so much skinnier than her plump sisters, I was sure she'd have enough to do just keeping warm.  And Tori--who seemed to be on par with Ingrid this Fall, both in terms of egg laying and in terms of chubbiness--is taking a much more extended break.  We haven't had an egg from her since the first of November.  

The ducks, likewise, seem to have given up on the egg laying until warmer days.