I'm sure this isn't news to those of you in northern states who are used to long period of frigid cold with snow cover but it's something that I - in Virginia - am experiencing for the first time. We've had really cold-for-us weather the past three weeks and snow cover for about two weeks. I'm thinking this is keeping all those little rodents that the hawks and owls normally feed on in their dens or somewhere out of sight as the hawks and owls have become rather brazen. It would appear they're hungry. I noticed an owl sitting in a tree next to our chicken coop about a week ago. That was new, we've never had one there before. The run is covered so no meal for him there. I also feed our squirrels [yeah, I'm crazy] on the railing of our deck. Yesterday - in front of our picture window so everyone had a view - an owl swooped down in the middle of the day and snagged a squirrel off my deck railing. It would appear that I have created an Owl Buffet in feeding the squirrels there. Other birds aren't safe, either, as a friend had a hawk take a bird while eating at his bird feeder several days ago. Just thought I'd pass on this observation for those of us who are experiencing this cold snap and snow with chickens for the first time. We need to be extra vigilant in protecting our birds - and cats and small dogs - as the predators are extra hungry right now.