It would appear that winter has made an arrival – lows of 25 to 30 below and highs not much warmer. The dogs get extra food and of course warm, cozy straw in their houses, but what does one do to keep chickens happy and motivated in the Alaskan chill? Here’s what you do:
I started feeding mealworms last winter as a treat and my chickens love it! My bantam rooster makes these crazy clicking sounds when he is happy and when I bury some mealworms in the coop straw he totally forgets all about his ladies and scratches and clicks away. It totally makes me crazy to use a bare hand to scoop these bugs up…..I swear to God one of them has survived the drying process and wiggles. Ugh.
When the cold comes we also feed the dogs meat and fish with their kibble. About a third of a block thaws each evening and is mixed with warm water, fish oil and kibble the next day for feeding.
Now I have been chunking up meat with an ax for almost three decades and it lost its romance very quickly. Little bits go flying off in every direction with each blow of the ax which is money just disappearing. The gray jays in our dogyard have always gone from slim, trim flying machines to obese tubs barely able to fly out of danger.
This fall I was scanning Craigslist and saw a meat saw for sale for $100. It was pure lucky timing. Now we have a lovely saw in the garage and I can cut up three days worth of meat in a matter of minutes! You may call me soft…..I call me smart!