Monday, February 25, 2008

More Chicken Chronicles....

This actually happened last Saturday morning (23 Feb 08). In the mornings, I feed the chickens and then open up the small "door" at the rear of the coop so they can "free Range". There are several "Cliques" in the house. Some of them make a mad dash for the barn to see what the goats dropped, some follow ME to see if I drop anything, "Funny Boy" plays games, and a few just wander off on their own.

I usually feed the chickens, then go around back and open the door from the outside. That morning, I decided to just go ahead and open it from the inside. I reached down and slid the plywood door sideways and jumped when I saw a big pile of black feathers right outside the door! Then I saw the pile MOVE...

It didn't move far, it just MOVED. I realized that it was more then a pile of feathers, it was a complete chicken! Evidently, this particular hen had gotten home late the night before - after I had closed up the coop. Every once-in-awhile I'll block one out, but they usually head to the barn or someplace else INSIDE to roost. This hen decided that in front of the door was as good a place as any.

The problem was, since it had dropped to about 10° on Friday night, and there was a patch of ice by the door, she was FROZEN to the ground! I went around back to see what I could do for her. I figured out that she was ok, it was just her feathers that were frozen to the ground, not "meat". I worked my knife around her body as safely as I could and managed to free her. Without so much as a "Thank you", she immediately ran into the coop for breakfast. I looked down and saw a hole melted in the ice where she tucked her legs, surrounded by a line of "fur". I went back inside and found her to look her over good, but didn't find any damage other then her new "haircut". Chickens have never dazzled me with their high IQ....

This morning (Monday) I fed the livestock and headed over to a neighbor's house to see about a water leak he had. The plumbers were there and had it dug out with the back hoe, new pipe and hydrant put in and mostly back filled in about an hour and a half. I'm sure glad he didn't decide to dig it with a shovel! He'll have to do some finish work on it, but it will need to dry out some first.

I also made a trip to town and was given and old metal bathtub. I "collect" these to use as water collection tanks for the goats. I can always use more. They don't hold a LOT, but if you put them under a downspout, they will collect enough water to last several days.

I decided that, even though it was a bit cold and windy this afternoon, I needed to get a few more pieces of tin off of the building that was knocked down on a nearby farm. While I was working there, another neighbor stopped by and told me he was pulling out a fence and wondered if I needed the wire AND the posts! There will be about 600' of good woven wire, 4 strands of barb wire about 200' long (each), a couple more strands of barb that are about 400' long, 15 "T" posts, about 110 good wood posts, and 10 good rail road ties. The best part is, he said he'd even pull the posts for me!

I was only able to work for about 1 1/2 hours before I decided to call it quits. It was a good thing. As I was finishing up, the wind switched to the north and dug in at about 30 mph. It also had started to snow. When I got out of the truck at home, I noticed that all the chickens were inside - nobody was braving the cold. It was still about an hour earlier then normal, but I figured that the chickens were pretty smart beasts after all. THEY had figured out it was a good idea to get into the house and out of the cold - I, however, was still out IN the cold.

I checked the barn to make sure there were no "hold outs", and, finding none, headed up the hill to close the chicken house door. On the trip up, I was thinking that, "maybe these birds aren't so dumb after all. They figured out it was cold, so they went in early. Smart birds, I got there".
I was really laying it on them. I was TRULY amazed at their intelligence. I was STILL marvelling at the high degree of intellect in my flock when I arrived at the back of the coop.
It was THEN that I realized I had forgotten to open the door this morning.......

Stupid birds......

1 comment:

  1. *giggle* that doesn't make the BIRDS stupid, silly. Although I know they aren't the smartest. Its amazing that stupid hen lived to tell the tale though!


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