chicken chores a-changin

I always tell people that chickens are easy to take care of. And they are! But sometimes there are challenging moments, like when your flock gets attacked by a hawk or a fox or your own dogs. Or when a windstorm blows a hole in the henhouse roof and you have to make emergency repairs, and then subsequently build a whole replacement roof (that's a recent story for us). But aside from those sort of rare occurrences, the hardest thing for me in chicken ownership is keeping their water filled in the winter. In the past it was even harder, because it froze every night, so every morning (and sometimes more often!) I'd have to bring the waterer in and melt the ice so I could get it refilled. Now we have a heater, so that doesn't happen; but because the outside tap gets turned off for the winter, I still have to bring the waterer in to the kitchen to fill. It's big, so there needs to be no dishes in the sink. And compared to the tap outside, the kitchen sink takes forever to fill the two gallons or whatever the hens need in a day. So it's not too much trouble, but it's enough that it seems like occasion to rejoice when it's warm enough to turn the water on outside again. Which I did yesterday. Just another way we're celebrating spring around here!