Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chickens in Winter

Stella doesn't seem to mind the snow too much, thanks to a little extra "insulation"

This has been a tricky winter for the girls, especially for the young ones.  They seem baffled by snow; their world has shrunk considerably and they wonder where their lush green grass has gone.

Chirpy is still smallish and she can't see over the piles of snow.  So, she occasionally gets herself stuck under the deck and can't figure out how to get back to the coop.  She just pulls in her neck, puffs herself into a ball and looks at me with confusion.  I've had to show her the way back to the coop to find her chicken friends who abandoned her hours earlier.  A few times she just hunkered down in the corner under the deck and wouldn't move.  I couldn't reach her, so I used a rake (and some loud expletives) to scare her out then encouraged her to follow me down the sidewalk.  I was worried she'd just stay under there all night if I didn't intervene!  I try to help her out by shoveling the path, even if we've just had a light dusting of snow.  Otherwise I think it just looks like one big, scary, white world out there. 

Chirpy and Redder search high and low for a way around the snow

They explore their options for reaching the deck

Chirpy can't figure out how to get back to the coop

Ray actually seems to enjoy the snow.  She eats lots and lots of it as if it's some sort of treat.  We've seen her eat so much that it makes her upchuck.

A few days ago I offered her some fresh collard greens.  The silly girl ignored the delightful greens and ate the snow off my glove instead. 

Ray sporting a little snow on her beak

Ray contemplates eating greens versus eating more snow

I'm so glad the flock has been able to romp in the yard for the past few days, enjoying sunshine and freedom.  When they exit the coop there is lots of wing flapping, stretching and general chicken giddiness.

I haven't told them yet, but we're about to head into the deep freeze and they'll have to be cooped up for the next 3 days.  I'm sorry chickens.  I'm so sorry.



  1. Part of the problem with Chirpy getting stuck under the deck was the cross-hatch visibility barrier under the deck preventing an easy escape out onto the patio. Someone, apparently not worthy of a mention here, had to lay on the ground in the cold rain detaching that thing so that an easily confused chicken could more easily get out. Wonder who that was? Must have been the chicken-coop-repair-fairy...

  2. God bless the chicken coop repair fairy!! I don't know what we'd do without him, his power tools, and his boundless enthusiasm for supporting the well-being of chickens!!