Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Winter storms change chicken habitat

100-year flood

I was glad that I'd not only overloaded the chickens with greenery, but also refreshed the deep bedding, because the third week in January was not a good time for chickens to play outdoors.  First we had an endless cold rain that produced a flood nearly at the 100-year flood mark (and nearly reaching the chicken coop).  Next, eight inches of wet snow fell in a couple of hours and knocked out our power.  Our chickens' usual hunting grounds became a snowy, flooded swamp.

Snowy swamp

Cooped up chickensAlthough our rooster did lead his ladies outside during breaks in the rain, once the frozen flakes started hitting the ground, he threw in the towel and gave the hens the rest of the week off.  They kept laying, but stayed inside, pecking through the debris on the floor of the coop.

If our winters were regularly this snowy, I suspect we'd change our housing arrangement, building a bigger, sunny coop that could keep the flock busy even when the weather is dreary.  For now, though, the biggest issue was having to remember that our heated waterer didn't work without power, so I switched over to a pre-made waterer I could easily carry inside to stay thawed overnight.  Our chickens didn't seem phased by the shift at all.

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