At the moment we having hard frosts each night, the girls in chicken world troop to bed at dusk and huddle together and bring the temperature in the one chicken house in use at the moment up nicely. They stay warm and cosy all night with just their body warmth and the thick layer of bedding and newspaper I put in there, I can always feel the heat radiating from it when I go to close their door at about 5ish.
In the morning I open the door and they peek out, a couple of cockerels (we now have four) run out and make their welcoming noises to the new day, breaking the stillness on the farm with their cockadoodle doos. The girls stay warm until the lure of the layers pellets and the need for water make a foray into the white icy world a real necessity. Once out they are happy to peck around trying the frozen grass and look for frozen worms on the top, seemingly a real delicacy, think Magnum White but worm flavoured!
Once the sun appears they follow it round the farm huddling in groups on the patio where it raises the temperature of the paving stones and then luxuriating in its heat in corners everywhere, behind the shed, under the bushes, round corners. Little clutches of hens enjoying these short, fresh winter days, not a bad life.
Over this weekend we are busy dismantling what's left of the polytunnel, the high winds the other week ripped it in half. We are using the polythene to cover the raised beds to keep the chickens off for now and packing away the metal struts and raised beds to take with us. The polytunnel won't be erected at our next place but will be saved for our forever home, saving us money in years to come. The raised beds (these are the plastic ones) will be used outside, a quick assembly, easy fix to get me up and planting as soon as possible.
But time for one more coffee and a bowl of porridge before we venture out into this frosty morning I think.