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. 

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...

01/24/2013 7:27pm

Good call on your hubbies part - We have the same water warmer…works great. We also hid the cord in the exact same way… funny - it must be part of the universal chicken owner consciousness… "must hide cord…"

01/27/2013 2:01pm

Yeah, he's usually the voice of reason. That's really funny about the cord! Thanks for your comment!


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