Resilient Chickens


We are starting out the year 2017 with an Artic blast, according to the weatherman. He really would not have had to tell us this fact. A couple steps out of the door this morning and it was very apparent that it was beyond cold outside.

The radio kept telling me all day that is was -2º outside today. I have no idea if we made it above zero because I quit listening, turned some music on and did some baking. I avoided going outside unless it was absolutely necessary. Even my husband did not linger long outdoors today…..then you know it’s cold!

It was necessary to go outdoors again late afternoon to feed the girls and make sure they had all gotten safely back into the coop for the night. The last couple nights I have two birds that do not seem to want to go in for the night. I have to head out, flashlight in hand and go looking for them.

As I was crossing the yard, searching for the two renegade girls, it occurred to me that the birds who live in this part of the country are amazingly resilient.  They have to deal with hot humid weather in the summer and numbing cold in the winter. (I would say finger-numbing cold; but they don’t have fingers and for some reason their scaly little feet don’t seem to be bothered by the cold.)

The chicken coop that my girls sleep in every night, reminds me of their resilience. It is not insulated and is cold during the winter. I am always glad for the sunny winter days that give a little solar heat through the south-facing windows.

Chickens are really pretty smart. (Even with a walnut sized brain.) They have learned the lesson that they can rely on each other to get through cold dark times. It might just be instinct; but when I see them huddled close together on their roost at night I think there is a lesson in there somewhere for all of us.

The cold weather also brings challenges in how to best care for the girls. For years we struggled with how to keep the water thawed in their waterer. I finally turned to Pinterest to see if I could find any good ideas…..I did!

I showed the idea to my husband and he put one together for me last year. (He’s good like that.) I now  have a do-it-yourself heated chicken waterer .  For those of you who own chickens and live in areas that have freezing temperatures you may want to give this a try.

It always amazes me to realize how many life lessons I can learn if I just open my eyes to the things around me. I have found there is a lot to be learned from chickens. Some of it funny and some of it serious.

Watching my little flock stay warm on a cold winter night has taught me that it is good to rely on those around you. Trying to do life alone is way harder than it has to be……especially when there are others around you just waiting to bless you and be blessed by you.


Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)




49 thoughts on “Resilient Chickens

  1. bcparkison says:

    Like the water idea. Of course you need power. Out on pasture we were always having to bust up the ice etc. Got kinda tiring after awhile. some day I will send you a picture of our girls. Kinda miss them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      My husband strings a long heavy extension cord out there every winter. Come spring I have to make sure to remove it before I mow! It does get sickening busting up ice every day.
      I would love to see a picture of your girls. I know I would miss mine. Lar (my husband) asks how long I will have chickens. I tell him that as long as I can walk out to the coop I will probably have them :).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A Nenes Life says:

    I did not realize that chickens weren’t affected by the cold. I guess I just figured they stayed in their warm coops with heat lamps as a fireplace to stay warm. I suppose predators are a bigger threat than temperatures. BTW, that chicken coop is pretty sweet looking!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. susieshy45 says:

    Loved your life lesson. We are all creations in the making,growing each day.Perhaps chicken are too. They may be improving each day. I am glad they are well and you all are keeping warm.
    Winter days are just right for reflections and writing up what you know and have learnt from life- so others can benefit from them. I love your chicken coop for the soul stories. I think you should publish them some day-
    My grandparents kept chickens but they were for eggs and occasionally for a meal. No one else in our family farms, so that option has died with them.
    Please keep the girls for as long as you can.

    PS : Losing them last year must have been very sad for you, for I am sure, they were your pets.
    How did you cope ?
    I think your husband is very kind hearted in trying to mete out justice to the girls-

    Liked by 1 person

  4. marijo1245 says:

    Oh my word, I love the coop!! Unfortunately we lost a few feet and a lot of combs off the roosters in Wyoming, the hens always fared better. I chalk it up to girls being smarter than boys.

    I just love how God’s lessons are around us everywhere once we open the eyes of our heart!


    • thechickengrandma says:

      I have had a few frozen combs in the past. Once we started putting the heat lamp on at a certain temp it took care of that. I also have a couple of breeds that have really low flat combs and theirs never freeze.
      The lessons are always good.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A. Michelle! says:

    Your stories, scripture always call me out. Reminds me of what I need to work on or how far I have come. “Trying to do life alone is way harder than it has to be……especially when there are others around you just waiting to bless you and be blessed by you.” and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV), wonderful! I am reviewing Ecclesiastes all over again, what a joy! The verse you left on my blog—is one of my favs. “Resilient Chickens”….love it, The Chicken Grandma! Keep writing, Faye. You are needed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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