A close call

After Monday’s mild weather, winter returned to boot me firmly in the potting bench Tuesday.  Snow overnight was following by free-falling temperatures and a wind that would blow the hair right out of your follicles.  BRRRR!

Nonetheless, the hens were out and about, scratching in the hendome alternately with visits to the Coop for food and water.  When Dan went to close the Coop later in the day, though, he only counted 5 hens in the Coop.  His heart sank, and he raced to the house to get me to help look for them in the growing dark.  I shoved on my boots and ran out, heart in my throat.  I was so afraid we’d lost them to a fox, or they’d gotten out and were roosting somewhere in the woods and would freeze to death overnight. (Predicted overnight temps were as low as -16°F with the wind chill.)

It was COLD, brutally cold, winds howling.  We saw hen tracks in the snow along the garden fence, then another set leading into the garden (we removed the gate for the winter) but the tracks did not lead out.  There were no signs of a struggle, no feathers, or worse yet, blood.  Then, Dan realized the tracks disappeared right by Henbogle Coop.  He looked under, and there they were, Lily and Lucy, huddled together under the Coop.  We shooed them out (they were not happy to be shooed) and after checking for frostbite, got them into Henbogle Coop to join their sisters and warm up.  We left the lamp on for extra warmth, closed them up, and thanked our lucky stars.

We determined they must have flown out of the pen looking for more of that delicious grass from Monday, then didn’t have enough sense to fly back in.  We were lucky they found the Coop to provide shelter.  We checked them over this morning, and thankfully, saw no signs of frostbite.  Lucy and Lily both got their wings clipped to prevent any future flights of fancy.

Now, we just have to make a plan for taking care of the girls during a big three-day storm, if it materializes (please no!), with forecasts calling for between 24-48 inches of snow between Friday night and Monday.

4 Responses to “A close call”

  1. jeannie Says:

    I’m glad to hear the girls are OK.

  2. Daphne Says:

    I think we will be at the edge of the storm. Our predictions say it will snow on us for several days, but we will only get 6-10″. I hope we don’t get more.

  3. julie Says:

    Ali, so glad to know the “girls” are safe and sound. My girls too want to ventrue forth and find that one remaining blade of grass. We have raised a hardy brood as most blogs I read who own chickens say their “girls” will not go out in the cold and snow. The weather hype in my neck of the woods drives me crazy. Hello, we live in Maine, it snows in Maine, its winter forgoodness sake. I have to admit I did make a pit stop at the grocery store (pot roast on the wood stove if we lose the power) and for the first time a snowblower now resides at Dog Trot Farm. Good Tidings to you and Dan for the New Year!

    • Ali Says:

      Gosh, Julie, I didn’t realize Hannaford carried snow blowers, too. What a good idea, I bet they’ll sell a carload ;-)

      Pot roast sounds good. After ’98, I vowed never again would I be without a woodstove and a gas range. I’m all set there.

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