Well, surprise, surprise. The busy housecleaners were the piglets. Like the dogs, they enjoy eating the chicken poop, and the duck poop, but not so much the rabbit poop. And they are small enough to fit through the pop door of the coop! So they all went in there and went to work. Even behind the tarp which is under the perches to direct the poop away from the sleeping ducks who live there, there was not a morsel of duck poop. Good little piggies.
The next night, the piggies had decided to take up residence in the coop. There were around 20 of the little porkers, of various ages and breeds, but they managed to snuggle together under the straw and were warm and toasty. The temperatures dropped to minus 37 with the wind chill and the coop stayed above zero. That is a lot of body heat from the pigs and chickens generated to keep the coop that warm. It is insulated, but has never stayed above zero on really cold nights. The next night, I closed the pop door because the piglets needed to be taken to the butcher and had to be loaded into the truck today. They should have been easy to catch and it was all set up, except for Robbie. That dog! He pushed the barrier down to better see what was going on and then half the gaffers ran out. But they went to their previous home, so it was not too difficult to round them up and catch them there. There are three piglets left, not quite enough to keep the coop above zero, I think. And the pop door is left open too. One poor little hen, one of my favourites, a little Chantecler cross, was not up on the perch and froze in that wind. I tried to put her up and she just came back down. She will likely not survive another day, poor chicken. The rest in both coops are faring extremely well, thank goodness. There are no piglets in the other coop, but more chickens in a smaller area where the perches are. So they have stayed warm enough.
The little piglets will be permitted to sleep in the chicken coop as long as they can fit through the pop door. I know one is male but did not see what sex the other two are. The butcher may not take all those that are loaded either, so some might come back home. Drat! Only about 6 are sold so far. Thank goodness it is so cold. The rest can go in the new freezer until they are sold or enjoyed.
I highly recommend putting some piglets with the chickens in winter. It keeps the coop spotlessly clean and warm. Both the piglets and chickens benefit, and so do I.