Keep Your Backyard Chickens Warm this Winter in Seattle

Keep Your Backyard Chickens Warm this Winter in Seattle - Greenwood Hardware

Your backyard chickens have likely been providing you with fresh eggs and you have become used to enjoying the treat of collecting eggs for breakfast every morning. Your chickens will continue to lay eggs for you all winter if you make sure they are warm and comfortable. There are a few extra steps you need to take during the colder months. You will find the necessary supplies for your backyard chicken operation at Greenwood Hardware.

  • It doesn’t take much for the water in your chicken coop to freeze. You can buy a heated water dish for your chickens. You can also buy a flat plate-like device that slides under the watering dish and will keep it warm. These are typically sold for dog and cat dishes, but can be used with your chickens.
  • A heat lamp in the coop will help keep the chickens warm as well as provide the extra hours of light they need to continue laying eggs throughout the winter. The red heat lamps work best. They put out more heat and are not so bright it stresses the chickens out, which could cause them to stop laying.
  • Add an extra layer of pine shavings to the bottom of the coop. The deep litter method will help block the cold air that seeps up through the floor. Think of it as insulation.
  • Do not completely seal your chicken coop. You need good ventilation to prevent moisture build up which can lead to disease.
  • For days when the temperatures are below 20 degrees, you can protect your chickens by putting a layer of Vaseline on their feet and combs. This will stave off frostbite.
  • If there are more than a couple inches of snow on the ground, you will want to clear an area for the chickens to scratch in. Chickens will not appreciate snow on the ground and will usually not even attempt to walk through it. To keep up steady egg production, you want the chickens to get plenty of exercise.

Chickens will huddle together in the coop and produce quite a bit of body heat. You don’t have to keep the heat lamp on all day. In fact, you wouldn’t want to. For nights that you know it is going to be in the teens or single digits, turn on the lamp. Chickens are fairly resilient creatures, but it doesn’t take much to interrupt their egg laying cycle. Head on into Greenwood Hardware and pick up what you need for your backyard chickens this winter. Come on in, or contact us online.

Preventing Frozen Pipes in Seattle Area Homes

Preventing Frozen Pipes in Seattle Area Homes - Greenwood Hardware

The arctic storms drifting through the Pacific Northwest are a reminder of what winter has in store for us. Although our area isn’t prone to subzero temperatures, hard freezes are possible and that means your home is at risk of suffering from frozen pipes. If you have ever experienced this or know a neighbor who has, you know how devastating frozen pipes can be. Our team at Greenwood Hardware is here to help you prepare for frigid temperatures. Frozen pipes will burst and when they do, it can cause incredible damage to your home. Flooded areas increase the risk of mold growth. Your drywall, flooring and ceiling will all need to be repaired. It is a mess you want to avoid at all costs.

These are the things you need to do today to prevent your pipes from freezing.

  • Insulate outside pipes and faucets. A cheap way to do this is rake all those leaves in the yard into bags and stuff them around the pipes and faucets. You can also buy insulators designed for the outdoors. Make sure you disconnect all of the hoses and put them away for winter.
  • Insulate pipes that are in unheated areas like the basement, crawl spaces or attic. You can buy foam insulation that slides right onto the pipe. You can use heat tape on the pipes as well.
  • Seal any leaks around the dryer vent and other areas to prevent frigid air from seeping in. Use caulking or insulation to block the air.

When the forecast calls for temperatures below 20 degrees, you can decrease your risk of suffering frozen pipes by doing the following:

  • Open cupboard doors beneath the sink in the bathroom and kitchen areas. This allows the warm air from the room to keep the area from freezing.
  • Turn your faucets on so there is a steady drip. Moving water through the pipes will keep them from freezing.
  • If you are leaving for the day or weekend, don’t turn off the heat! You can turn the thermostat down to no less than 55 degrees. This ensures the inside of your house will not reach freezing temperatures.
  • If you are going to be out of town, ask a neighbor or friend to check on your house at least once a day. You can catch the problem early and prevent damage.

If the pipes do freeze, take action immediately.

  • Call a plumber. You are likely not the only person dealing with frozen pipes so you may be on a waiting list.
  • Turn on the faucets. If the ice melts, you want to give the water somewhere to go.
  • Use a hairdryer to slowly thaw the pipes. You can also wrap hot, damp towels around the pipes to slowly melt the water. Start at the portion of the pipe that is closest to the faucet.
  • If you come home to discover your pipes have burst, shut off the main water supply to your house and call a plumber.

Do what you can today to avoid the costly repair costs of frozen pipes. You will find the materials you need at Greenwood Hardware. If you have questions, we are here for you! Come on in, or contact us online.

Canning: Make Your Garden Bounty Last

Make Your Garden Bounty Last - Greenwood Hardware

If you rushed out and picked the rest of your tomatoes, onions, apples and cucumbers before the weather dropped into the cooler temperatures, you probably have a refrigerator or pantry full of produce. There is a strong desire to hold on to the last remnants of fresh produce from your garden. You know it will be the last for several months. What if you could preserve it and make it last just a bit longer?

A lot of people assume canning season ends with the summer, but that isn’t the case at all. Canning in the fall is an excellent way to make your produce last, while heating your home naturally. One of the major drawbacks to canning in the summer is the heat, but when you do it in the cooler months, it is a welcome activity. Not to mention, it gives your home that comfortable, lived in and loved feel!

Check out some of the canning tips and tricks before you head down to Greenwood Hardware to pick up all your canning supplies.

  • If you have a ceramic cooktop, invest in a pressure canner that has a bottom that fits completely on the burner without excessive overhang around the edge of the burner. Measure your burner before you buy a pressure cooker for canning.
  • When canning apples or applesauce, considering using a boiling water bath instead of pulling out the pressure cooker. It is faster and you will get a lot more apples canned in a short amount of time. It is completely safe.
  • Invest in the tools that make canning easier. Sure you can make do without, but using canning tongs, funnels and a strainer or cheesecloth make your job easier and safer. The special jar removers are especially important. Each of the tools are fairly inexpensive and worth the investment.
  • Recipes for applesauce, various salsas and even canned pumpkin are widely available on the internet. Choose a couple that appeal to you and buy the ingredients before you settle into canning for the day. It is almost impossible to stop the process midway through to run out and grab an ingredient. Leaving the ingredient out can ruin the flavor of the recipe.
  • Buy more than enough bands and lids for your jars before you get started. Sometimes you end up making much more than you thought, and you don’t want to waste your bounty because you are short on lids. They will store for next year if you don’t use them.

Canning is a fun way to hang out with your friends and family while making food that will last through the winter. Don’t let your garden’s bounty go to waste! Head on down to Greenwood Hardware and pick up everything you need to make it stretch until next harvest season. If you have questions, we are here for you. Come on in, or contact us online.

Fall Checklist for Seattle Homeowners

Fall Checklist for Seattle Homeowners - Greenwood Hardware

The leaves have turned, and we are well on our way into fall. With a chilly winter ahead of us here in the Seattle area, there are some tools you need to get as soon as possible in order to take care of your home before winter sets in. Spring and fall are some of the busiest times of the year for homeowners! There are plenty of little chores that need to be done around the house. To do those chores, you are going to need some tools that you can find at your local Greenwood Hardware store.

Maybe you have some of these items already, but they are not in very good condition. There is no time like the present to buy new tools that will make your job much easier.

Outdoors

  • Leaf rake
  • Pruners
  • Lawn bags
  • Fall fertilizer/lawn feed
  • Moss control
  • Tree wrap
  • Wood stain for decks/fences
  • Ice scrapers
  • Ice melt
  • Clean out the gutters
  • Sweep the chimney
  • Store outside decorations in a patio box or the garage
  • Outdoor faucet covers

Inside

  • Weather stripping
  • Pipe insulation
  • Door guards
  • Batteries for smoke detectors—change when the time changes
  • Sump pump replacement
  • Water filters—change when you replace batteries in smoke detectors
  • Furnace filters
  • Space heaters—inspect old ones and buy new if needed

Taking care of these things now will keep you from worrying about it when the cold weather does arrive. You don’t want to worry about the pipes freezing outside or worry about your lawn not coming in green and healthy in the spring. By taking care of these maintenance tasks now, you can ensure your winter will be less stressful and you can simply kick back and wait for spring. Head into Greenwood Hardware today to take care of your fall shopping list. If you have questions, we are here for you. Come on in, or contact us online.