Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Long nights, deep fog, and rain in the chicken coop.

The longest night of winter has just recently passed, and we're looking forward to seeing just a bit less of this sort of scene as beautiful as it can be. We definitely prefer getting home when we can get by without the lights being on for a while, and that just isn't the case at the moment. It would be the case even without working far too much which is the norm right now unfortunately. We've had some very strange weather out here lately as well for this time of year. First there was the snow and more snow, and that was fairly normal. The Thursday post of the conquest of snow was fun because it is nice to feel like we have the snow under control for the first time. Note to mother nature, that isn't a challenge!

The weird part came not long after mostly around Yule. Unfortunately due to the schedule I've been keeping my command of days, dates, and times is fairly shot so let's go with between then and now. We got 50 degree weather, up to the 60s at time! Much of the snow melted away, and we had deep thick fog encompassing everything. This was basically irrelevant to the rabbits, and was mostly a curiosity to us other than with driving which was a bit of an adventure. The real thing that was important about it occurred on Sunday which was the warmest of the weather, and also the most foggy and humid. The Lady of the House took all of these photos then, and coincidentally had to take care of the problem alone because I was at work.
Despite roofing the coop, and silicone caulking cracks, the roof of the chicken coop leaked. Well, leaked might be a misnomer. It rained inside the chicken coop because the roof was so waterlogged that the water traveled down to the lowest point and just poured inside. I think I need to install a drip edge on the top edge of the cop and the south edge. The door side is going to be a bit of a challenge because the door makes contact all the way up. The situation when the Lady of the House came out was as she passed it on, it was raining in the coop, the chickens were dry because it was raining on the lower end and they were staying to the taller area where it was more dry. Every last bit of bedding was sopping wet, and the ground was at least clear enough for the chickens to be out. She let the chickens out, cleared all of the bedding out, used towels to dry the roof and inside as much as possible, and just hoped that it was a transient thing. Fortunately due to the extreme slope of the rabbit hutches the roofs didn't have that problem, though they still need a real roof on all of them. The hutches in the woods had less snow on them and thus were the most dry.
The girls stayed out all day, and during that time the rain in the coop stopped. Our best guess is that the weight of the snow, and the combination of melt and rain and humidity caused the edges of the roof to get so soaked that it wicked water down to the bottom where it poured in. Fortunately the girls are resilient, and the coop itself is in relatively good condition other than that one thing that we're working out ways to fix. Something you may have noticed in the picture Above is that the tarps over the run area are down right now. The snow was coming, and we didn't want the tarps ripping, so we just untied them for the time being, it's easier to tie them back up later when only one side is down than pull everything in. I'd love to say there's more of a practical reason than "I don't want to do all of that right now" but that's the reality. Right now I'm exhausted from work, which limits our physical work quota around the homestead fairly significantly. So we'll see you all again Thursday, and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate!

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