A dusting of snow

Like so many in Wisconsin and Minnesota, I woke to snow this morning and quickly bundled up for morning chores. I pulled up thermals and pulled on my purple balaclava, and braced myself for the cold. What a wonderful surprise it was to open the door to a gentle daybreak. It was calm and felt absolutely balmy.
There was barely a quarter inch of snow on the ground as I headed up the short hill to the tractor. The snow was already dripping down the windshield facing into the sun, and the diesel started right up. The dogs played tug-of-war with a stick as I speared bales and slowly moved them to a distant pasture, and i could hear the rooster crowing from within the coop. I’ve already fed and watered them, but I’ll wait until a few hens have laid eggs in the nest boxes before letting the small flock range the farm for the day.
Now to bake bread.

Video

The timekeeper – a noisy video

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

I’m typing away at my desk and then it comes, the crowing that says, “Hey, it’s 11 AM. There are things to do.”
My free range chickens seem to be thriving in the cold and snow. They peck at any patch of dirt or brittle grass blade they find, which is why they love to hang out under my office window. In addition to being out of the wind and facing into the sun, they love scratching through, and nestling into, the mulch around the bushes. It makes for happy hens, and a very vocal rooster.

Chickens and apples. Not a recipe.

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

Our free-range chickens are built to forage for themselves

No, this isn’t a recipe for chickens stewed with sautéed apples. (Though that does sound like something I’ll try.) It’s a very short video demonstrating just how hardy free-range chickens can be. Because our chickens are breeds that forage for themselves, and are well suited to our cold winters, they happily leave their coop in the mornings and begin searching for any blade of grass or dried fruit that might be exposed in the snow. These happy hens get lots of natural sugars and fiber from apples I pull out of storage. These are wild apples grown without any type of chemical. (When just picked in the fall, I make cauldrons of applesauce and rich apple butter.)
Our small flock get sun and exercise every day (as well as fresh grain every morning). Dave and I enjoy their antics (I had no idea chickens could be so entertaining), and lots of nutrient-rich eggs.

Sylvia