Somehow, even though we aren’t the parents of the children living here, our home number has gotten on the county call list for school delays and closings. Last night, first daughter’s cell rang, then the house phone rang with a 2 hour delay notice, but we could already see that the inch of predicted snow was more like 3 inches. At 5:55 a.m., a second call rang into the house that school was cancelled. There must be a way to get off that list. At any rate, the extra hour of bed lounging since there is no Monday preschool and a 2 hour delay plan was shot. Three inches of snow wouldn’t even slow most communities down, but this is Virginia. Now it does snow in the mountains of Virginia with some regularity from mid January through late March, but it doesn’t take much to close the schools. Daughter and SIL car pooled and had no trouble. We have the kids home with us.
It is still flurrying, the wind is howling, but the snowpack is light and we need to venture out in both cars to take the Xterra in for an oil change, state inspection, and for them to try to figure out why it won’t start sometimes.
The dogs love the snow, even though it is only 22ºf outside. The chickens not so much. Even using the hay fork to stir up the spoiled hay in their run so they didn’t have to exit into the snow didn’t encourage them to exit. A bit of gentle prodding was necessary to get them outside so the inside of the coop could be stirred up and the hay shifted away from the door for the day.
They quickly abandoned the food and water.
And popped back indoors. They win, their food was put in the hanging feeder and lowered, some scratch tossed on the floor of the coop, a bucket of water placed just inside the door and they were closed back inside to reduce the drafts. Today isn’t supposed to break 30º, but tomorrow will be 50ºf, so maybe they will go outdoors.
Because of the late summer predator loss of almost all of the pullets and 1 hen, consideration on how to increase the flock before summer has been on the table. Buying day old chicks now, and raising them in the garage? Not a desirable plan. Waiting for chick hatch and keeping a few, but that cuts down on meat in the freezer if we have chicks. Looking on Craigslist, there are some pullets hatched in mid August, that should be laying in a few weeks and will allow a cull out some of the older hens after brooding season this year and still have a good flock in the coop if there are any chicks this year. That seller has been contacted and notified that 7 pullets are desired and though the seller indicated that 7 are available, no arrangements have been made to meet and pick them up. That will put 7 large pullets, 7 hens (only 4 laying right now), and Mr. Croak in the coop. It will give him more company and more hens to chase around, so maybe they won’t get beat up quite so bad. A dozen to 15 hens is a good number with 1 rooster.