Thanksgiving just passed and the shortest days of the year are here.  Since my last post in mid-summer, we’ve successfullly fed our 600 chickens entirelly from the discarded excess of stores, restaurants, a bakery, and two breweries. The eggs are better than if we used commercial feed.  And our “Happy Hens” are happy.  They follow the wheelbarrrow every morning, eager to see what treats are new for the day.  Thanks to Icicle Brewery in Leavenworth, we get over a ton of spent barley grain each week  It’s more than the chickens can eat during that time – they live in abundance.  All the excess becomes compost. Now we’re seeing how our outdoor chickens hold up to the cold weather.  So far so good with temperatures down to the mid 20’s overnight  We might hit zero some time this winter – if everything goes as planned, the chickens will keep winter adjusting and become more and more hardy as the season deepens. So far no snow on the ground. I’m definitely liking this life with chickens.  If everything goes well through the winter I’m thinking I’ll expand the flock next spring. And if everything keeps going well – I’d like to turn Happy Hens into a model that others can replicate in their own communities – Restorative agriculture that closes the food waste loop, creates great eggs laid by chickens living a great life, and providing a great life for another farmer as a part of their local community.  Nice dream, eh? I’ll keep you posted as the winter progresses