Alaska Backyard Chickens
Alaska Backyard Chickens is a resource for Alaskans and others living in northern climates who are interested in keeping chickens. Maintained by the Community Development Agent at the Cooperative Extension Service/University of Alaska Fairbanks, this site offers information for the hobbyist flock owner, such as what works (and doesn’t) in arctic coop design, and how to keep flocks healthy and productive through long winters. While small egg/meat producers are welcome, the site is designed for those who keep chickens to fulfill their household needs for eggs and meat. And of course – for people who just think chickens are cool birds!
Thanks to the Lower 48 taking on our Polar Vortex - winter here in Fairbanks has been perfect: mostly warm, with plenty of snow for skiing and other winter recreating. It’s been good for chickens too.
Maybe not for outside frolicking, but they haven’t reached that level of coop-fever that drives them out into the snowy yard.
In the past couple of weeks, my chicken house looks like several chickens have spontaneously combusted… it’s a cloud of feathers. But every chicken is, luckily, accounted for.
It’s just my Easter-egger going through a late-season molt.
Yup. It has happened again. Summer screamed by, and all of the things I meant to do relative to the flock (relocate the manure pile, enlarge the pen, add a new gate) didn’t get done.
Now it is a mad scramble to get all of the pre-winter preparations done: top off the wood pile, pick low-bush, stock the freezer with moose and ducks (if you are a hunting sort) winterize the car, and clean up the yard.
Today, for the first time in many years, my yard was silent. There was no 4 am crow to incorporate into my dreams, as so often happens in the summer, and no crow to greet me when I came out to feed the dogs and chickens.
Roo Paul was gone – taken away yesterday by the Rooster Remover, because yes, I am too "chicken" to dispatch problem birds myself.
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My hens have been confined to a small space now for several months. I’d expect anyone, including birds, to be stir crazy by this point and certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see a temporary reduction in egg production.
But, this morning when I did my usual coop check, a furtive motion by one of my young barred rocks caught my eye.