We will have a mess on our hands.
But I think the biggest challenge facing our girls is boredom - not the weather. They are a hearty lot but they are still prone to frostbite and temperatures even too cold for good New England stock. So one does need to keep an eye out.
Katie was found in a ball and most unresponsive but a few weeks ago. She enjoys coming to the "big house" but it was apparent that she was not pulling a fast one. Not this time anyway. Once inside it took hours to bring her around. But within a day, she was singing the blues like Mamie Smith.
They will pick through straw for hours. Especially when littered with corn. A head of cabbage hung like soap on a rope. Treats and warm water laced with molasses. Spending time with them offers catharsis for us and for them. The friendlies come forward, the prudes will avoid you and the few weird ones will run for their lives.
I snowplowed a circle outside the coop's door. I spread a thin layer of straw and peppered it with corn and layer pellets. They began walking the circle like masters of Baguazhang; flapping their wings, squawking and behaving like the masters (matrons?) of their domain. No boredom here. Chickens being chickens. No thought of cold or thirst or pecking order.
When the shoe fits the foot is forgotten.
And the eggs are a plentiful. Even in winter. And in that, I AM well pleased.