The trees are transitioning to brilliant colors of red, orange, and yellow. The days and nights are steadily growing cooler and visibility shorter. Animals scurry to prepare for the coming winter season, as the first snowfall of the year covers the ground. All this symbolizes the coming of winter, ushered in by the astronomical mid-point between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice more commonly known as Halloween.
Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. The stores become haunted with costumes and creatures of all sorts. Caramel apples become a staple, and pumpkins color the store fronts a brilliant orange. A symbol of the last crop of the season, bringing a finality to the year’s harvest.
Children carve faces in pumpkins and place them on the front porch. A tradition tracing back to the Druids to ward off evil spirits. Harvest displays appear on doorsteps along with a humble scarecrow overseeing the bounty of the season’s surplus. However, Halloween traditions are not just limited to the humans during this time of magic and fantasy. Here on the Kuntry Klucker Farm, the girls also participate in the season’s festivities.
Every year after Halloween, I frequent the local stores, buying up all the pumpkins that did not make the designated cut to be Jack-O-Lanterns. The remaining pumpkins left are reduced in price, making perfect carving projects for my girls. In addition to late fall fun and entertainment they provide, pumpkin is very nutritious for chickens. They supply an abundance of essential nutrients needed for my girls during this late season, after the bugs and plants have gone dormant. Additionally, since they are large, they will serve as boredom busters. Pumpkins are the focused of activity for my girls during November going into December. Due to the fact that temperatures are below freezing at night, the pumpkins stay fresh before giving way to the natural process of decomposition.
Over the years, my girls have become excellent pumpkin carvers, Enjoying the season’s final harvest of pumpkins and other fall delectables. They happily peck at the pumpkin, anxious to get to the seeds contained within the center of the tasty orb. As they peck their way to the center, they carve a design in the exterior of the pumpkin, carving their Halloween pumpkin. All the finished projects are different, each displaying unique features and designs all created by chickens. A true piece of chicken art.
Many people do not associate chickens with artists or even expert carvers. My girls are here to prove that chickens are natures little artists. The girls enjoy their own version of the holidays as they share in the tradition of the season.
As the fall season surrenders to winter, it’s time to think about over-wintering your flock. I will be back with tips on how to keep your flock happy and healthy till the return of the Sun’s warmth.
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Loved the photos and your article. Best Witches for a spell bound season of enchantment
Thank you Lynn, I am so glad that you liked the pics. The girls had a very merry spell bound halloween.
I live in PA and have four Isa Brown’s. When younger they went into coop each night but during the summer we let them stay on the perch in the run. It is a tractor supply coop.We have three sides covered with plywood except roost side where they continue to sleep. I have forced the m into coop when it is really low temps. My husband says leave them on the roost if they get cold they will go into coop. Is this safe. I worry about frostbite and upper respiratory issues of they continue this way. Any advice you can give me would be appreciated.
Hi, I can understand your apprehension of allowing your girls to roost in the pen during the winter. I can understand letting them roost in the pen when during the summer months. Even some of my girls will choose to roost in the pen as the coop section is too hot during the summer. But contrary to your hubbies understanding, bless his heart, they will not go into the coop if they get cold. As darkness falls chickens can not see well and are kind of comatose. They will not have the dexterity to move into the coop should they find the night a bit too chilly. Frost bite would be a definite issue along with taking a chill by the bitter winds. During the winter all my girls sleep in their coop for their safely and my peace of mind. During the bitter nights they will huddle together to keep warm, that is hindered if they are on a perch in the pen. As far a respiratory issues, chickens don’t catch “colds” the same way humans do. They fall ill due to viruses spread by wild birds or rodents they may come into contact with. As long as your pen is predator proof and no wild life will have contact with your ladies that is not an issue. But for their own safely and to better brave the winter night temps it might be a good idea to put them into the coop. Additionally, chickens are creatures of habit. If they got into the habit of roosting in the pen during the summer they may need a refresher course to reinforce the habit of roosting in the coop at night. That is simply done by putting them in their coop slightly before sundown and closing their door. This way when its time to roost they are already there. After week or so they will start going into the coop as the new habit has been reinforced.
I hope this helps. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. That’s what I am here for.