That is, unless it's supposed to be 9 degrees outside and you want your beloved chickies to be toasty. And the brooder light adds some nice ambiance, even if it does look a little risque. (Insert your Chicken Ranch jokes here.)
If you peek in the window in that pic, you can see some of the girls roosting for the night.
Speaking of chickens, there have been a couple of interesting things that our feathered friends have been up to recently. The first has to do with their slow down in laying: in December, I barely got an egg a day. I attribute that to the onset of cold weather and the decrease in daylight. The poor girls have been laying for over a year, so I think they're entitled to a vacation and we haven't been adding any supplemental light in the coop to stimulate their laying.
But, now that we're past the winter solstice and the days are getting longer, I think we're an upswing. We're not up to an average of 3 eggs per day out of 9 hens, which is a pace that is just fine with me. What's difficult is that they're really chowing down on the food, since they can't get out and free range (it's dark when I get home from work and they're already in "bed").
I discovered the other oddity tonight when I went out to shut the coop door and gather the eggs. There were two perfect eggs and then this:
I swear...doesn't that look like a walnut?
I wonder what caused this. Did it get stuck? The shell is nice and hard and the inside looked normal when I cracked it. (Yes, I had to peek.) The hens have been staying in their coop because of the cold, so I wonder if this is just a fluke from a hen that might have stopped laying for awhile, or maybe its stress-related. This is the first one that I've seen and everybody seems healthy, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see if we get any more.