Monday, January 31
whatever makes them happy.....
Our most recent dangerously cold spell has passed and even though there is still snow on the ground and the temps are in the 30's, it is much better than it was. The chickens water has stopped freezing solid overnight and I am not as worried about them as I was. The temps inside the coop didn't get lower than 28 degrees, which is cold, but they are hardy.
Today I went out to visit them, bring them some bread scraps and collect the eggs. And to just check on them in general. Like when you used to go to sleepovers at your friends houses and their Mom would appear every so often, just to 'check.' They have been acting a little sneaky lately and i blame it on the weather keeping them 'cooped up' rather than my overbearing parenting. A few of them have seemed to get the idea that flying out of the indoor enclosure and wandering around the rest of the shed is a fun way to pass an afternoon.
Yesterday I went out and I was greeted by one of the Rhode Island Red hens making her way back to the coop from where we store the bikes for the winter. She was squawking rudely, like it was my fault she had 'gotten out'. I graciously opened the coop door and let her prance back inside, apologizing for my incompetence. I have also found eggs around the shed in strange places which makes me wonder about about numerous smelly presents we will find around spring time. Eggs hidden in rolls of plastic or garden netting. Another little protest or just boredom? Or are they trying to hide them from me.
They have not only been 'flying the coop' to lay eggs but they are also laying in different places inside the confines of their coop to boot. They have decided that their nice warm nest boxes just will not do and they have starting laying in a cramped little space between the wall of the coop and the end of a nest box. This can not be comfortable but whatever makes them happy.....
I put down a fresh layer of straw for them today which they love. they go nuts pecking and scratching around in it looking for something interesting. It is getting pretty thick in there and it is 'sponge-like' to walk on. But it is warm and insulating for them so all the shoveling that will take place this spring will be worth it when I don;t have frostbitten combs and feet on the girls. And I should have lots of good stuff to add to the compost bin.
Happy ladies are my goal and I am still getting about a dozen eggs a day, so I think it is going well.
By the way, do you ever notice how many chicken and chicken coop related 'sayings' there are in society? Flying the coop, cooped up, coming home to roost, not a spring chicken, count your chickens before they hatch, up with the chickens, etc.