My goodness, we used to obsess over our chickens. We practically brought them in the house if it were cold. They lived in a cushy 10×10 with windows and heat lamps and were carefully stowed away at night to hide them from all the chicken dinner seekers that come out with the stars.
These are my housemate’s chickens. The rooster I have dubbed “Genghis Khan” for his reputation, which I have not yet countered. He is kind to me through the fence as I throw over melons and this and that. He lives in his bachelor pad alone. Again, not the nicest fellow, so I hear. No other chickens to keep him warm, generally not locked up, but he has four walls.
The ladies live in the smallest apartment I have ever seen. They seem to enjoy it and must be quite warm with body heat. How they all survived last year’s negative zero temps I will never know. They do not get locked up. They did lose three sisters this year but these girls, even on nights their door slams by wind without them in and the have to sleep outdoors, have escaped all manner of frostbite and skunk marauders.
Perhaps I was too coddling with my hens. If there is an animal we miss most, it’s chickens. I suppose when we get our own we will again be ridiculously overprotective chicken parents but at least I will have the wisdom that they are a bit tougher than I give them credit for.