The weather hasn’t been quite so numbingly cold the past few days, and so the chickens have gotten far more adventurous about how far they are willing to trek away from the coop, even through the snow. On Saturday, Gonzo our rooster led several hens on a hike out to the lean-to behind the coop, where they spent the day. However, that evening, we discovered several of the hens disoriented and wandering through the snow back in that area, and had to rescue them. The majority had made it back to the coop just fine, including Gonzo, but for whatever reason, this group of three were dumbfounded by how to get back there, likely because more snow had fallen since they originally made the trip.
Of course, they weren’t going to just be cooperative little hens and let me carry them back. They were going to run through the snow. Which is a bit like running through Jello, and you’d think that the human would quickly overtake fowl, but remember, I am Asthma Girl. I am also…well, you know that person? The one who, when folks are in stressful circumstances, where someone says, “Well, at least we’ll laugh about this later” as a sort of consolation to make it through, that person who is already laughing their arse off (perhaps even a bit inappropriately)? Yeah, that’s me. Laugh attacks, asthma, and respiratory infections on a cold winter night will combine to seriously hinder one’s ability to give chase, let me tell you. George was not wearing his deep snow boots, and so he drove our truck back to help my coughing cacophonous character in the effort. This did help, as it gave me a sort of “holding tank” for the hens as I wrangled them. We got stuck briefly, but switching into 4-low got us back out of there in a jiffy. It also left tire tracks, compressing the snow down, and making for a great trail for the birds to follow the next morning, which they did. Because they were able to get traction and more easily perambulate on the tracks, we thought, “Great, we shouldn’t have an issue with them coming in tonight!” HAHAHAHAHA…oh, what fools we were. Last night, there were even more birds to collect – probably close to twenty. The girls did seem grateful for their rescues, to a degree, anyway. After they were done clawing and scratching, they’d settle in and realize they were warm and headed back to safety and food.
Needless to say, we are all going to be glad to be done with snow for the season. I’m happy that as I look outside, I see melting ice and snow dripping down from the roof. We started to see some evidence of the thaw yesterday, too, so hopefully this trend continues – the weather reports do seem to indicate that it will. We’re all looking forward to Spring and renewal and being able to walk around the land and see green things growing. Many of us here on the farm are looking forward to eating those green things, too. We just received an order of seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds last week, and I’m excited to get some of them started indoors soon. I’ll be creating a 2011 seed spreadsheet soon, and I’ll link to it as soon as I do!
The Polish Crested, Jersey Giant, and Black Australorp chicks I moved to the outside brooder house last week are doing well, and are a month old now. They’re filling out with feathers really nicely, and I’m working hard to socialize with them so that they are used to human contact and actually enjoy it. It’s not something that just automatically happens. The Cresteds are getting their head feathers in, and it is adorable! Little Phyllis Diller birds.
I’m still working on getting over this respiratory infection, or “creepin’ crud” as I usually call it. Last week, my fever spiked at 103 F and I had the full body ache, down to my individual hair follicles, going on. Thankfully, today, I’m feeling the chest congestion finally break up. I’ve been taking Mucinex DM, Wild Oregano and Olive Leaf Oils, vitamin C, zinc, and some other supplements, along with lots of fluids and naps. It seems to be working. Here’s hoping it’s over soon!
It’s time to head out to the barn and coop, so I’ll wrap up by saying it’s good to be back, and hope you are all well!
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