An unintended outcome of the recent compost bin construction was this: the chickens have converted one of the bins into a club house.
If you keep chickens in a snowy climate, you know how tough it can be to get the birds outside during the Winter. There are many days when the chickens have to stay confined to the coop because of nasty and potentially dangerous weather.
Even when I get nice days and throw the coop wide open, the chickens are hesitant to go outside. They apparently don’t like walking on snow. This was true with my first group of chickens as well as the present bunch. From the ramp, the cast their sideward chicken-look all around the ground and, if they can’t see brown patches of earth, won’t leave the coop on even the sunniest days.
However, with the compost bins now situated just a few feet away from the coop, the chickens have taken to flying from the open ramp to the open front of the bin. They avoid the snow all together. My small mystery Americana is usually the bird that leads the way and stays there longest.
The chickens spend their time in the bin scratching through the leaves, nestling down in them, and have even laid an egg or two.
I’m starting to wonder if strategically-placed club houses are the way to keep chickens free-ranging throughout the Winter.