Saturday, December 10, 2011

Snow (or how to keep a chicken in the coop for several days)

The sun was out, the chooks were happy as could be and it was warm.  Gloriously warm!  Sure, there was something afoot, but the chooks neither cared nor could be bothered with the "goings on" about the grounds.  The wind was up but that's ok because when it does that it blows seeds and bugs into the run and lets face it, that's awesome in the chook world.

The chooks are under a year old, though-- still unaware and unlearned in terms of how Colorado can sometimes work in strange and surprising ways.  The wind was up, but it suddenly went up more... a lot more.

The chooks went tumbling like tumbling weed.
Great gusts of wind come barreling out of the mountains on some days, especially in the Fall and Winter!  Sometimes the clouds over the mountains look wispy and feathery, the tell-tale signs that a storm is bearing down on Colorado and has arrived in the mountains already.  On the front range, though, storms such as these are preceded by... great wind!  It warms us into the 70s and it is often very sunny.  Those who knows about this place call it, "The Warm Before the Storm."  The chooks were blissfully unaware but wary of the suddenly intense wind.  They went flying through the air, desperate to make it to their coop as they went tumbling across the yard like a tumble weed.  In times such as these, the chooks are disoriented and therefore docile-- enough that I could pick them up and place them gently in the safety of their coop.

As night fell, so did the temperatures and the wind (the two are tied together-- google "upslopde" and "downslope").  As the winds calmed they changed directions, too.  Quietly and gently, the storm that ranged like a maniac in the day crept in like a thief of the night.  Snow had come.

When the sun finally returned, the chooks were greeted by a landscape they'd never seen.  They were curious yet cautious, excited yet apprehensive.  The coop's design had worked well enough to keep the run under the coop clean and dry of snow but it was open enough to show a wintry landscape and the chooks were made wary of the odd cold and colorless stuff.

What the boooooock?
I went out to see the flock and let them out for the day.  They didn't move.  They didn't know what the heck was going on and what this white stuff was but Rosamond and the other girls weren't going to go out into it.  So they made Earl go.  Earl will do anything.  Earl did not enjoy his experience.

Earl had the look of a very shocked chicken betrayed by his girls
(which is odd because it happens a lot to him).  
Earl hopped out of the coop, looked around frantically, and hopped back into the coop.  I give him credit for trying.

The flock spent the day inside the coop.  They also spent the next day in the coop as well.  Whenever it snows they stay in the coop, sometimes not leaving it for days.  This past week was snowy and intensely cold and they simply were not going to leave the coop.  It was so much nicer and warmer inside and that white stuff stayed out.

The chooks stayed warm in their coop (note: no actual fire exists inside the coop,
 except for the passion the flock has for staying warm and full of feed!


  1. wonderful blog!I had to did a little trench for mine last year to get to their gazebo.

  2. Are you sure Earl was pushed out? maybe he's just the adventurous chicken, like my Roz, the first to try anything.


  3. Our first snow the chickens all camped out in the coop. On the third day, after we had snow shoveled a couple pathes, I forced the flock out. They were so funny to watch. I thought for sure that they wouldn't venture out the next day but I was wrong. Day after day they ventured out on their own. It was amusing to watch them each day. I'm sure they were happy to return to their heated coop each afternoon.

  4. i love reading this blog... you have quite the knack for telling the story of the chooks :) it always makes me smile to read and chuckle when I think of my flocks doing the exact same thing.. and I adore your drawings! Please make a book?

  5. @Hallerlake-- It's uncertain if Earl was pushed but the fact remains, he is most definitely at the bottom of the order!

    @Horse'n'Garden thanks for the kind words! I doubt I'll make a book any time soon but it's fun to tell the stories!