Thinking about winterizing…

Slowly but surely we have been doing things to plan for winter with the chickens.  Hoping for a mild winter is fine, but we need to be prepared for crazy weather and protecting the girls.  Building our chicken winter home in the garage has done lots to relieve my worried mind, but I wanted to take some steps to minimize the elements in the outside run too.

6 ft by 8 ft tarps attached to the side and top of one section of the chicken run.

Tarp also attached to opposite wall of run to create wind break.

My husband and I attached three 6′ x 8′ tarps to the sides and top of part of the chicken run to create a wind break and to also keep rain and snow from a portion of the ground for the girls to walk on.  You can see the ramp in the pics leading up into the garage window.  The window has part of the tarp covering the top so that the rain/snow will keep from going into the window.  We are hoping that this will provide enough protection for the girls if they want to venture into the yard during inclement weather.  The only thing left for me to do at this point is to provide a heater for their water source so that it doesn’t freeze up on them.  Since I have electricity available in the garage and to the coop outside, I am thinking about purchasing a heated water bowl (the kind for dogs) to keep their water from freezing.

Speaking of protection…we have been having a time with the squirrels lately.  The chickens are afraid of the squirrels now since they have gotten more aggressive and the squirrels know it!  Numerous times I have had to go out to frantically squawking chickens being chased around by squirrels or the girls hiding in the coop while the squirrels eat their food in the run. After much consideration, I purchased a small plastic air soft gun that shoots plastic BBs.  To date, I have shot at least 6 squirrels (or possibly only a couple of squirrels several times each).  Each hit startles the squirrel and chases them off, but doesn’t cause any real damage. They have learned to run when they see us or when they hear the cocking of the gun.  For the most part it has kept them at a distance.

Sitting in the chicken run with my trusty BB gun at the ready.

A beautiful sunny day today, sitting in the run, visiting the girls.  Danny and I gave the girls an afternoon treat of seedless red globe grapes, which they loved.

Peep, Sadie, Frannie, and Betsy enjoying some grapes.

A gift from my girls…

Cluck, cluck y’all!

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