By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
I consider myself on the cutting edge …
I’m on the cutting edge of stupidity. So in order to save smarter people from doing the things I do, here is a list of what I learned from sub zero weather.
Chickens do just fine in this weather with a couple of heat lamps. Just make sure to use the red bulbs because roosters will crow all night with regular bulbs. The neighbors do not like chickens in a subdivision, but they like them even less when roosters think its sunrise at 3 a.m.
You still have to feed and water chickens when it is cold. I thought I was smart by putting the water in the upstairs of our chicken’s split level where there was heat. I did not expect it to get so cold that the latches froze and I could not open the doors.
It is just a few steps to my outbuilding where I keep a tool box. The lock on the building was frozen too. It was so cold by this time it felt like piercing needles were pricking my ear lobes. The dog was barking frozen barks like the bubbles that appear when words are spoken on a cartoon. The chickens were clucking, and I was getting stressed out. I picked up a rock and busted the lock on the chicken coop.
I changed the water and fed the chickens. They rewarded me with a fresh brown egg. I usually set the egg down if I have more to do, but decided for some reason to put this one in my coat pocket. (Please remember that comment.)
Next I turned my attention to the lock on the outbuilding. All it required was a lighter held under the lock for a few minutes. The plan was to hook a heat lamp up in the dog house. I didn’t have a long enough cord and I’m pretty sure the dog would have pulled off the clamp and burned her house down. I decided to bring the dog inside and tie her to my weight bench. It wasn’t a bad plan but I found if you give a dog 20 feet of rope in a house she will wrap around a piano, every leg of the table, the weight bench, and wear your best winter jacket.
I drove back to the office pleased with what I had accomplished on a lunch break. When I got back to my office, I put my car keys in my coat pocket like I always do. I heard a crunch and felt a gooey sensation on my hand. I remember now where I put the egg.