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The board is there to hide the cord. I figured they'd mistake it for a worm!
So, two days ago I went out to check the chickens and found their water in a block of ice. It was so frozen I couldn't even get the metal fountain apart so  I had to boil a pot of water to melt the fountain.

Even though this made me feel like I was getting into the nitty gritty of being a chicken-mom. I decided this is not what I want to do every morning so, I splurged and bought a heated pan.
I really wanted to try a DIY heater, but my hubby advised against it.
The new set up is NICE. The water is actually warm.

HOWEVER now I'm dealing with high humidity in the coop. I bought a new thermometer/ humidity combo to measure the temps.  I have not been able to get the levels down, but I'm experimenting.  It reads from 70% to about 90%.
I've read that high humidity in the cold is what helps cause frostbite. My concern is Pearl's massive comb.  I put petroleum jelly on it because I read that this helps prevent frostbite.  All it seems to have done is make her extremely dirty and unhappy. 

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We're trying to sleep Ma!
She already had discoloration at the tips, but now I can't tell if its dirt or what? What I really want to do is put her in the bathtub and scrub her head.
Anyway, here's a good link from Backyard Chickens on WINTER COOP TEMPERATURES 
One more thing: I've noticed their laying schedule changed when this cold snap started.  Ginger skipped a day and this morning I saw Pearl in the nest box before the sun was even out...
 
 
So the chickens are experiencing their first snow...I can tell they don't love it...after a period of time they just run back to the coop to thaw their little toes. I've been keeping them locked up more often lately because Mark actually saw them get semi-attacked by a hawk two weeks ago. A fallen tree prevented the hawk from getting low enough to snatch one. Really, until we get our fence finished it’s a gamble letting them out, but it’s hard to watch them stuck in the run behind a fence. My biggest concern with this weather was Pearls comb and wattles since
  they’re HUGE I read that they can get frost bite. The prevention for frostbite
  is to slather on Vaseline.   She seems fine so far.



By the way chickens eat ANYTHING. For example: Ice melt.

Well, what im supposed to be doing right now is finishing our guest room. By finishing I mean painting and by painting I mean !HELP! Actually it's turning out pretty awesome.
Yesterday, Mark helped me throw my desk out over our porch railing smashing it to bits! Yea!(it was a 30 dollar special from Walmart the kind that would bubble if I tried to paint it)
Out with the old and in with the new...