Hens movin’ on up

Hens movin’ again. That’s what happens when you’ve got wheels on your coop, you get itchy claws.

hens movin and coop pulled into garageThere has been some awfully cold days and nights the past couple weeks. The girls are hardy, but I’ve worried about them at night despite the insulation in their coop. They still like to go out in their run during the day. But the wind whips around our windblocks. And the ground gets sodden.

One freezing night when Sadie, the outdoor-by-choice cat, came in out of the gale and sleet, I said to her “I wish the chickens could be in with us too.” Then I thought hmm, there’s a great big garage right beside them, wonder if they’d like to be inside it. Nah, I’d get laughed out of town if I suggested putting them, coop and all, in the garage.

“Probably too crazy, but…”

positioning coop in garageA day or two later, my brother said, “It’s probably too crazy, but I was thinking…” Yes indeed, he too had thought about moving the chickens indoors for the winter.

So last weekend, the girls were packed up inside the coop, the lawn tractor hooked on to it, and the whole works moved into the garage. Boards were put down under the run to protect the concrete floor and give the girls a less cold ‘ground’. A bale of straw spread out for them to peck in.

MINI parked by coopAfter they got in position, the MINI was put in beside them. There was one night of snow last week, not a lot but enough to let you know it was on its way. So time for MINI to go to sleep for the winter, for the very first time right beside some chickens for company.

Checking on them after their first night inside, I see an empty run. Where are they? Had they got out and were roosting in the hens inside cooprafters? Had the Chicken Rapture happened? No, inside the coop, looking at me like ‘oh thank goodness, you’re still here. We’re scared!’ All crowded together, they even let me pet them as I gave them potato peelings. One peel flicked out onto the run ramp, and one was brave enough to go after it. The others looked at her, then me, then screwed up their courage and went out too.

garage at night photo Dorothy StewartSoon they were scratching in the straw and kicking it in the air, pecking and clucking and cooing. Happy girls again. Of course the weather has become nice again so neither chickens nor car need the protection of a garage, but in mid-November it can change any time.

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