I took advantage of the snow day here to sleep in.
When I finally peered out of the window around 9 o’clock, I noticed there were no chickens pecking around the chicken run. We’ve had snow before, several times in fact, and the chickens didn’t seem to mind terribly so I became a little concerned. They always beat me up, that is, they always rise before I do, so they were very late indeed.
I bundled up and trudged through the very light coating of ice and snow to check on them. Reassured by the restless chicken noises in the coop, I opened the coop door and looked in.
I wish I had taken a picture. All eight hens stood around, on shelves and roosts, and in the thick straw on the floor, seemingly at a loss for what to do. They took turns walking the plank to peer out the window where they exit the coop into the run, halting fearfully on the sill, then walking back.
“Go on,” I urged them. “It won’t hurt you. It’s just snow.”
Surprisingly, my words had no effect. I tossed a handful of chicken pellets out the window which made a pattering noise as they skittered down the chicken ladder. The hens were not tempted. Indeed, they were probably less hungry than usual, having been milling around the coop since sunup with nothing to do but eat from the feeder and look at each other.
I picked up the nearest bird and exited the coop with her under one arm. Maybe once they saw the evil white stuff didn’t kill her, they’d feel better about things. However, I’d forgotten about the glassy coating of ice that was deposited on everything just before the snow began to fall last night. The run door was glued shut, both at the latch and where the bottom of the door meets frozen grass and soil.
I stood chipping at the ice on the latch with one hand, kicking the door with one foot, and hanging onto a chicken with the other arm. What is that talent whereby you have the ability to think a step or two ahead of yourself? I don’t have that. Literally the world’s worst chess player.
But it worked anyway. I finally got the door open and put the test chicken in the run and the others couldn’t wait to follow. If you know any chickens, you know the worst thing to a chicken is to be late to the party.
Except for Brownie, one of our Easter Eggers, holding up the line.
She stood at the top of the window. I could tell it was killing her.
Maybe it’s better from over here?
Ready to fly.
No big deal.
I still can’t explain why this snow in particular worried them. I guess chickens don’t have long memories and it has been a while since it last snowed. Or should I say, since the last appearance of the evil white stuff.
I join them in hoping it will be a very long time until the next one.