...I know, enough already, but these gals are one of the main things feeding us right now.
The beets and cabbage and mache were simply planted too late. We planted coldframes in November when it should be more like August. The kale we planted is growing and not dead, just taking it easy in these sub-zero temperatures. The low in the last few days dipped down to twenty six below zero. Crazy. The state is closing most public buildings and schools due to the freezing temperatures and natural gas issues. Space heaters are at a premium and I sure am glad to have so much firewood. Here's what the local paper has to say: link
But back to us trying to feed ourselves. Winter in the Rockies is tough. Fifties and sunny one day and then bam! Thirty below zero. We are talking about building a permanent structure with our double pane glass windows and a rammed earth wall for the back. Hopefully we can use the backhoe to dig out a south facing hill. Then we can have a real chance at growing food for ourselves year-round.
So anyway, here is a bunch of photos of the girls; Braving the cold to feed us beautiful, delicious, nutritious eggs.
Produce from local stores is feeding our hens close to 90% of their diet.
The potatoes and turnips we have stashed away will be boiled into a mash one day and fed to the chickens.
Hens love to perch to keep their feet dry.
Their shelters are sufficient but once there are two dozen more chickens we are building a large nesting box/ coop. Somewhere they can lay eggs and get out of the elements. Passive solar perhaps? We will see. Windows might be incorporated to allow more natural light and promote more egg laying. Some exciting stuff in the works. I am in the process of cutting barrel rings apart to use as a small coldframe (like this one), maybe twenty or thirty feet long. We want to plant a crop of spinach under there as soon as we can. March maybe.