...and I hope my garden survives. It's supposed to get down into single digits tomorrow night. Yesterday there was freezing rain and we had no electricity for 7 hours, and today the wind blew hard enough to slam car doors. However, all my row covers remained in place thanks to clothespins, wire on top of the covers, and boards weighting down the sides. I have baby broccoli plants under two layers of row cover. I also have 14 pounds of potatoes planted a couple of inches deep. I hope the plants survive this weather!
For my chickens, who live in a chicken tractor, I laid a combination of blankets and siding against the screened sides of the chicken tractor and weighed them down with sticks and stones. Adult chickens cope with the cold well (at least any cold we have here in South Carolina), as long as they have shelter from the wind and the rain. The wild birds survive, and chickens who live outside all the time can survive too. People who live in cold climates have coats and blankets filled with down, and chickens have their own layer of down growing next to their bodies. It's safer to allow them to cope with the cold than to put a heat lamp inside your chicken house--many people have lost both chickens and chicken house from fires begun by heat lamps. It's hard to keep heat lamps safe from birds that can fly.