As a backup we had gotten some heated water bowls as well so I went to get those. I ran an extension cord out, plugged them in, and threw the hose into the workshop to fill them up. I turned the pump on but nothing happened. I checked all the switches and plugs - everything was connected properly. Then I realized it was the hose, frozen solid! All that planning and it looks like I'm still hauling water from the house.
So in I went to get a bucket of water from the kitchen.
I filled the bowls but it took a while for one chicken to get brave enough to stick her head in and give it a try. They did their usual standing around, starring...
If you could hear their thoughts I think it would sound something like:
"What do you think it is?"
"I don't know. Should we try it?"
"I don't know, looks scary."
"Let me just get a little closer. Hmm, smells funny."
"Don't get too close!"
"I think it might be something we can drink."
"Don't risk it!"
"But I'm so thirsty!"
"Who knows what it could be."
"I'm gonna try it."
"Ohh let me try!"
Soon there were lots of birds enjoying a morning drink.
I went down to check on the ducks and found the pond is starting to freeze over too.
The ducks are mostly staying on the far side, which is still open. I have them some more hay in their house, in case they want to nestle in for warmth but so far they seem fine with the cold. They are so well insulated; it's truly amazing!