Stop and Smell the Lichen
Our winter finally...wintered...and we had gotten down to -65 degrees at one point. The chickens were handling the cold fine. They weren't ecstatic about it, but they were showing no real signs of stress besides slowing down on the egg making. As most know I have been using the deep litter method in my coop to try and heal heat it up a bit. I started with a small amount of river sand left over from the summer that I couldn't quite get out, then I added a layer of pine shavings, then a layer or bed straw. I added some straw here and there and made sure to sprinkle BOSS every once in a while so that the chickens could mix it up a bit. I know they were mixing it up a bit because some mornings I would go in there and it looked like small bombs went off, as there were holes in the bedding everywhere.
Fast forward to the deep freeze...
I believe that some of the bedding must have gotten wet, and then froze. In fact I think back on those weeks of heavy cold and I don't remember really seeing any of their
We switched the chicken waterer to a 5 gallon bucket with a 250 watt in-water heater with a built in thermostat and nipples on the bottom. So far so good! They drink from it, the nipples haven't froze yet, though I dread having to haul the five gallons of water out there at least I don't have to refill it nearly as often. The only problems I have run into is that I have to raise it as I raise the straw floor level (as you can see in the picture it needs raising again) and for some odd reason the chickens stop drinking from it...or can't get water from it as well...or something.....when the water level drops to about three inches. I have not figured out why really. The only reason I figured it out it was happening was because every morning with their hot chicken food mash breakfast I bring a cup or two of warm water with a touch of vinegar for them to drink if they feel like it (since the in-water heater is in the bucket I can't add the vinegar to that water cause it will corrode the metal) and when the water in
What we have found that works for us is by making a few small changes every few months, pretty much addition and subtraction of one or two things. The months in between the changes give us time to adjust our taste buds and give us a chance to see of the change works for us or not.
For instance the first change I made was to purchase a 50 pound bag of whole wheat flour. It pretty much began our adventure into cooking our own foods and creating our own healthy recipes....like dutch oven no-knead bread, and healthy breakfast muffins, and whole wheat pizza.... the list goes on! And it only cost me about $50 for the initial flour and shipping and another $20.00 for the food safe buckets and lids to store the extra. I lost ten pounds just from the single change.
Amongst the long list of changes we have made (including adding chickens to our household for the eggs/meat/compost for veggies!) I do often experiment with other means of making our diet more and more healthy and natural. Our diet is pretty meat heavy sometimes...low inventory of veggies and fruit at the store...or we already burned through
Stop and Smell the Lichen
Nasugraq Rainey Hopson is a Inupiaq Eskimo woman who lives in the Brooks range mountains of northern Alaska with her Hunting Partner. She is originally from a village on the coast, but was wooed from her village by a very handsome and Inupiaq rich Nunamiut mountain man.
He surrounds her with Native riches and beauty so she is more than content. Her days consist of artwork and mythological stories, and she sometimes thinks deep thoughts that have no answers but define the questions better.
She shares both her days and her thoughts on her blog,"Stop and Smell the Lichen." She has four dogs, and an internet connection that has it's own particular sense of humor. She hopes you enjoy your stay!