Thursday, January 17, 2008

Owl, the chicken rooster or who knew chickens were afraid of snow?

Owl is a beautiful rooster and he's always been a bit of a bully. Today we found out he's afraid of snow to boot.

The snowstorm started about 8 a.m. so the chickens were already out in their pen. But Owl and several hens went back inside almost immediately and refused to come out even after the snow stopped flying and we shoveled paths around the garden.

I finally coaxed Echa, the Turken at the front of the picture, to at least put her head out the vinyl-hung doorway and taste a cornmeal mush treat but Owl wouldn't come near the door.

One of the other roosters, Cappy, the Dominique in the middle of the photo to the right, was the first to venture out when we started shoveling. He watched me shovel snow while pacing just under the protection of the old truck topper we use as a cover for the feeding station. As soon as there was a clear square of ground, he flew about 12 feet to reach it and then started following me, DH and DS as we shoveled paths, or in DS's case, track beds, 'round the pen. I thought he deserved a special treat for being so brave (and cute, following us around) so I gave him a piece of red tomato, one of his favorite extras.

DS has been reading too many Calvin & Hobbes collections evidenced by his decision to build, in his words, "a screaming snowman" who is about to be devoured by either a snow snake or a snow whale. Or perhaps a snow zeppelin will crash into him as he stands in the middle of the field . . . He's undecided on its exact fate tho he assured me it would be scary and probably very messy. For all that guarantee, I thought this was a pretty cute picture.

DH is recovering from a bad bout of 'flu but still managed to shovel the driveway so I could get back home this afternoon after going over to my DM's before 7 a.m. this morning to help her get going for the day and do several sets of therapy exercises. Someone suggested we read a book about Patricia Neal's stroke experiences to help understand the recovery process and how much difference the time we spend with DM working on all the exercises provided by the physical, occupational and speeh therapists can make in her recovery.

In closing this snowy day's posting, I wanted to include a few more pictures of those silly chickens. To the right is Echa, one of the Turken sisters, being coaxed into the doorway but no farther.

Directly below is another picture of the ones that refused to come out in the snow. On the left is Quirrell, an Easter egg layer and one of DS's absolute favorites, Owl is in the background, Echa is in the lower right front and Broadway, a white Jersey Giant, is on the roost above her. If you've never seen a Jersey Giant up close, note her eyes -- they're different looking from a regular chicken's and she has lead-colored shanks, too, but they're not visible in that picture.

The picture at the bottom is a view under the truck topper with Misha, another of the Turken sisters, the black-and-white Dominique known as Cappy, and several little white hens.

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