The Price of Winter

With the slightly warmer weather we've had this week,
I've been able to open the henhouse doors wide.

During the colder winter months,
I try to conserve a little warmth in the houses and either clip the doors open
at about 6 inches, or close them and open the tiny doors that I made in the bottoms
of the doors.

This helps to keep the precipitation out of the houses and
with the heat lamps on keeps the houses warmer.

Unfortunately, though, not only the chickens and guineas enjoy the protection from the elements...
but so do the starlings.

Starlings are quite the nuisance in the winter months...
eating me out of house and home 
and then leaving piles of guano all over the insides of the henhouses.

Normally, I fill the chicken feeders daily...
and on most days they eat half of the food.
However, when the starlings are visiting, the feeders need filled twice daily.
(I might as well tear up cash and feed it to the starlings!)

On those days, when 50 or 60 starlings are huddling in the henhouses,
afternoon chores end up looking like a scene from the birds,
as I open the doors and a flock of birds comes flying out at me!

So, for the past week, with warmer temps, the doors have remained open....
and no starlings!

Yesterday was one of those days that kept us all in the house.
First snow then rain...
not enough to accumulate, but enough to keep these gals inside...

and amazingly, these gals as well!

With time indoors,
I was able to finish another knitting project...

Two baby hats!

PS....look who's pretending to love her green veggies!
(she doesn't, really.)


Lynne said…
I liked seeing your chicks . . .
Especially that rosey cheeked, green peas, adorable chick . . .
Wee Miss is just getting ready to fling that green gloop in someone's face!
Country Gal said…
Those Starlings are pigs here at my feeders to and try to push all the other birdies away , but eventually they all share so I am ok with it lol . Lovely photos , Yesterday was a beautiful sunny spring like day here and Miggs and I were out enjoying it ,today not so much our Provence of Ontario is in a big mixed storm of all sorts , we have high winds and rain whilst other parts are having freezing rain and snow . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !
The starlings have not found a place in my little hen house yet, sure hope they don't... but the sparrows do.. and when I open the door I have to beware as they dart out and so far, have missed my face. *sigh

Love those precious hats!

This N That said…
Those peas are going somewhere..Does she throw her food yet?The Starlings help themselves regularly this time of year...Sleepy, cuddle up week for sure....Perfect fireplace/knit weather..Both hats are adorable.
Try to stay dry todayI've been out all morning and we have had some very heavy downpours..xxoo
Anonymous said…
I've got some handsome roosters for your chicks. Check out my post from yesterday if you have a sec!
deodar said…
I haven't had starlings in the coop or the barn where the donkey, goats and pig live but I have had sparrows. I read in a poultry magazine to hang strips of sheer fabric at the top of the small coop door to keep the sparrows out, I did and it worked. It worked so well I thought it might help keep them out of the big doors too so I hung strips about 10" long along the top of the doors and so far so good, no sparrows skimming past my head! I was also feeding most of the sparrows in the neighborhood until I got one of those lever action Grandpa's feeders where the bird has to step on a small platform to open the feeder. It's a bit of a learning curve for the chickens but they figured it out, even the two ducks figured it out and my feed consumption has been markedly reduced. My husband figured out how to make a wood copy of the Grandpa's so now I have two. The original was a bit pricey but I'm sure I've recouped the price in savings.