An Online Chicken Forum Saved Me From My Wife’s Wrath

It’s true – an online chicken forum saved me from my wife’s wrath… temporarily, on this one issue, at least, that is.

The story picks up after my last post about the predator that snatched one of our hens during daylight.  As a precautionary measure, now that something in the neighborhood knows that there are tasty snacks running around my yard, we confined the chickens to the coop.  Well, only a week later, my wife went out one morning after an especially cold night and found one of our hens dead in the coop.

Our initial assumption was that, as a result of the 18 degree overnight temps, the chicken froze to death.   This, despite the fact that I’d read previously that they do NOT need the heat lamp that we have in the coop from when they were younger – the heat lamp that I told my wife not to turn on.   So, my wife is furious at me – more-so than usual, even – thinking that it’s my fault that the chicken died because I’m a cheap bastard who doesn’t want to run a heat lamp all winter for them (a charge I am guilty of, no doubt).   I took it to the Interwebs, posting the story on BackyardChickens.Com  which is the source to go to for advice from chicken experts far and wide.

The Chicken People spoke quickly, and declared that my chicken did not freeze to death.   It seems, in fact, that our desire to keep the chickens warm – by covering the interior coop windows with plastic – may have contributed to the chicken’s death, as a result of poor ventilation, lousy air quality, and the inherent non-robustness of chicken respiratory systems.

Mrs. Dynamite read the replies from the chicken-folk on the BackyardChickens Forum, seemed at least temporarily satiated in her desire to make me sleep in the barn, and returned to merely eyeballing me suspiciously.

We are down to 9 hens, now, and they are laying between 5 and 8 eggs a day in aggregate.


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