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Free Range Freezing

This is today’s weather:


It’s the warmest day we’ve had in a while. We have an automatic chicken door that opens when the sun comes up and closes when the sun goes down. I normally turn it off to “closed all the time” when it gets down in the single digits, and I put a heat lamp in the chicken coop. This week, though, one of our barn cats is gone. He’s feral so it isn’t surprising, but I really wanted him to come home and not freeze to death, so I left the automatic door on. I didn’t think the chickens would go outside when they had a heat lamp inside, but I was totally wrong. This is them today (and every other day this week):


I think we have thirty-four chickens, and three are in the coop right now. There’s even a chicken with a hurt leg who hopped outside on one foot. I guess chickens really like their sunshine, regardless of the temperature.

The chickens aren’t the only people here in Wisconsin who don’t feel the cold. When it first gets down to single digits, everyone is like, “Ufda! That’s cold out there!” But then by day three, the guy carrying your groceries out is just wearing two long-sleeved shirts. And you notice that a lady driving around Mount Horeb has her backseat window open, so her dog can stick his head out and feel that refreshing breeze. And you look at your car thermometer, and it’s 2. Fahrenheit.

I don’t know this woman, but I know her, you know?

I love Wisconsin. 

2 thoughts on “Free Range Freezing

  1. Oh, my. That is one crazy lady! I went to school in Potsdam, NY back in the 60s and it was regularly below zero, well below zero. One week it stayed at -30 in the daytime every single day. We had a tunnel to take us from the dorm to classrooms and people who had cars put smudge pots or something under the engine blocks so the cars would start. Honestly, once it got below zero, it all felt the same. I understand from talking with fundraisers from the school in recent years that it doesn’t get that cold there any longer. Lucky them!
    I hope your cat comes back!

    1. I agree that once it gets below zero, I can’t really feel the difference. It’s just cold.

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