Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lake Effect

We've had snow every week since the first week of January.  Sometimes is comes down heavily.  Sometimes it's just barely a dusting.

Snow was still a novelty for the buckeyes that first week of January.  We had had some lovely days just prior to the storms that blew through.  The grass was green but crunchy with ice.  The puddles had become shiny mirrors.  That Monday morning, the sun was peeking in and out and nary a flake of snow was to be seen.  I opened up the chicken houses, knowing full well that the Americaunas wouldn’t step out.  The buckeyes are a whole different ballgame.  Soon as the door was open, four of the girls came busting out.  ‘We’re bored!  We want to play outside!’ they seemed to say.  They pecked at frozen grass and soon were sliding about on the frozen puddles.  I decided to periodically circle back and check on them (mostly fearing that someone might sprain a leg while ice skating).  Around 10am it started to snow.  
The wind was blowing out of the west, sending swirls of snow into every crack and crevasse it could sift into.  I soon went out to close up the chicken houses.   As expected the Americaunas were wanting to know why I had opened the door in the first place and, while we’re at it, why can’t they have warm snacks?  I didn’t see any Buckeyes outside and started to close up their house when suddenly I heard a chicken chuckle underneath.  I hustled them out into the yard, aiming them for the door.  I should have closed things up as soon as they stepped inside but what can I say?  I’m an idiot.  When I came back out just after lunch, the ramp was completely covered and drifting up into the house…and the two chicky girls were back under the house.  Fortunately I had brought the  shovel so after clearing snow away from the gate and digging a path, I got down on my hands and knees crawled under the buckeye house and rescued the hens. 

The first one to come out was Peanut.  Low on the pecking order, I’m sure she went outside just to escape from the others and once outside was just trying to find a place to get out of the wind.   The other, cuddled up with her, was Ditto.  These little chicky pals seem to do everything together.   Peanut complained a little about being brought out into the wind but figured out pretty quickly that I was putting her into the nice warm house.  Once in, I reached for Ditto.  She let me pick her up but the icy blast was a little much.  Soon as she started to fuss, the roosters were wanting to come out and protect their girls.  I held her upside down for a moment or two while she calmed down, then held her close, shielding her from the wind, while putting her back inside with her friends.  The roosters simmered right down when they saw me.  The girls went straight to the feed bucket.  I imagine being out in the cold really does work up an appetite.

The girls have figured out that being inside the nice warm chicken tractor is quite a bit nicer than out where the snow is blowing about.  Smart girls.

Meanwhile out at the goat barn, every time I walk so that she sees me, Jellybean calls to me.  "Maaaa?  Maaa! Maaaaaa!" she seems to say, "Ma? do you see me?  I'm right here!  Are you coming over?  I've been good today!  You should give me a cookie!  The other girls weren't as good as me so I should get their cookies too!  Maaaa?  Maaaaa!  Do you see me??"

Never a dull moment.

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