We lucked out with a weekend above freezing in the middle of January. We used one day to let the laying hens outside to stretch their wings. We spread some old hay around their outdoor run and gave them some meal worms to scavenge for.
We’ve decided to use the deep composting method in our chicken coop this year. The premise of this method is that you leave the old bedding straw and pile new straw on top when needed. However, the straw was getting a bit too wet causing the exhaust fan to work overtime keeping ammonia out of the coop. Also, we needed a way to deal with the poop that was piling up under their roosts.
The heated chicken waterer was the most important item we bought. With daytime highs of -20C and nightime lows of -35C, water in the coop freezes in less than an hour!
So while they were outside, we did some much needed maintenance in their chicken coop. We removed the top layer of the bedding straw and the poop mountains. Then we added new bedding and a poop shelf to make cleaning a little easier for the remaining couple of months of winter.