Here were my rush preparations:
1) Add more straw to the onions/garlic. Here’s hoping this bale isn’t chock full of seed heads like the last one. Worst weed preventative ever. I wish I had 15 more bales to make a tower around the bees. But probably that’s a moisture issue. (See #2.)
2) Top off everyone’s bedding. I just feel better thinking there’s less moisture in the goat shelter/coop if I pull off some of the top layer and add new dry stuff. Moisture’s what I really obsess about in the way below freezing times, because frostbite can take off chicken feet, combs, and wattles. Also, respiratory issues are as big a concern as anything else, so freshening things up right before they spend a longer period indoors seems prudent.
3) Check the heat tape on the pvc/nipple waterer just to make sure everything’s in order.
4) Get everyone some warm water and give the chickens a big handful of scratch. (We currently only feed scratch in the coldest part of winter for quick energy. That’s really its only nutritional value.)
5) Make sure all the eggs have been collected so they don’t freeze and crack overnight.
6) Run inside and then in place until the tea makes. And unwittingly crack the egg in your pocket in the process. Luckily, very fresh eggs have a pretty strong inner membrane still, so when this happens you just get to eat an egg right away. If you’re me.