Here in southwest Idaho, autumn is rapidly transitioning into winter. Temperatures are dropping, frost has landed and the weather reports are declaring snow for Thanksgiving.
Gazing out our back window, I am curious to see how the chickens will respond to their second winter. I am reminded of our first snow last year when the hens refused to budge from their coop. They would gather at the door, desperately trying to bask in the warmth of the afternoon sun, but one peek at all the white on the ground kept them firmly planted in their cozy abode.
Eventually, they braved the weather and would take turns sitting on top of the coop door or make a run for shelter near the house. We made paths for them through the snow, and this seemed to help them reach their destinations a little easier.
Now that frosty mornings have arrived once again, they venture out of the coop much more slowly and huddle together for warmth and some serious conversation. They seem a tad perplexed and gather together at their feeder to question what is happening.
I’ve been trying to cheer them up a bit by giving them some of their favorite treats — oats mixed with ripened banana, pieces of apple or bites of toast with jam. This does seem to perk them up, but I must remember to take winter precautions as well.
As I called the chicks from our back door yesterday morning, they came swiftly running in great anticipation of their favorite goodies. Our wooden porch looked perfectly fine, but as I stepped out, I immediately felt as if I was on an ice skating rink.
I’m sure you know those moments — when everything is quickly proceeding, but to you it feels like s l o w motion? Yes, I had one of those moments. I felt my right leg fly out from under me, and within seconds, I was sitting on the porch sideways with my left leg bent up like a frog and my right leg stretched out into the cold, yes very cold, icy gravel. I, of course, startled the poor hens out of their wits, and they took off running for the nearest bush! I whimpered a bit, but with the door closed, the girls could neither hear nor see the pitiful plight of their mama.
This must be how gymnasts feel when falling on the high beam.
Slowly peeking up …
Oh, I hope the neighbors didn’t see that acrobatic display!
I finally managed to get (crawl) back up, and came inside to the warmth of the house, somewhat disheveled. Even though the official day of winter is December 21st, I’m pretty sure it’s made a swift landing, much like I did!