Thus have been the feelings generated this year raising chickens. I remember
doing some of the things with my parents, but sometimes the explicit way it was
done eludes me and I have to rely on other peoples experiences and know-how.
That is the main reason I am so thankful for the forum BackYardChickens.com.
The people on there are knowledgeable and happy to share the wealth of
information they have from years of poultry keeping. And thankfully, no
question is ignored or disdained!
For example - keeping chickens in the winter. I don't remember if my parents
kept them locked up in the hen house, or if they let them out to free-range...
did the chickens like the snow? Hate it?, die in it?? Did my parents have to
do anything special for them in the winter unlike in the summer when it is
basically filling the feeder and making sure they have fresh, clean water.
We didn't get a winter turn-out run built like we had wanted for the new chicken coop - and having the amount of chickens (and a couple turkeys!) locked up in our chicken house 24/7 didn't seem feasable to their continued good health or spirits. So I asked about free-ranging chickens in the snow - and thankfully a couple other people asked the same thing and everyone has been great at sharing their personal experiences and what they do in the winter with their chickens.
They still come up for us to shake apples out of the crab apple tree by the house, and follow us around anytime we are outside doing anything. They go from shed, to barn, to coop, and actually spend a considerable amount of time just out in the open.