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I apologize for the crappy photo, but I just wated to share a few things I did to hopefully make the girls a bit happier during this cold snap.

1. I put a long branch inside so the hens can perch off the ground and hopefully help warm their toes.

2. I also hung a head of cabbage for them to peck at and play with. At first they were afraid of it, but after they discovered it was edible...all bets were off! I got this idea from About.com.  However, now after 2 days its frozen! So I need to get a new one.

3. The last thing I read recently was to feed the chickens right before they go to bed.  The digesting food helps to keep them warm overnight..cracked corn was suggested which I don't have so, I fed mine warm oatmeal.

 
 
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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...
 
 
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Pearl and her first bannana
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Lila shares his food with the ladies.