As everyone who lives in the Yukon knows, it’s been a very long winter. Spring is just now finally gracing us with its presence, and it’s a timid presence at that.
Yesterday my friend the chicken lady decided that her flock needed to get out of the coop and enjoy some of that fresh spring air. The flock had other ideas. No matter how much she coaxed and cajoled, they weren’t at all interested in doing anything other than hunkering down in their familiar digs.
Next she took more drastic measures, chasing them around the coop with a broom, trying to forcibly evict them. They, of course, took great exception to this, making a ruckus equal to that of 50 chickens instead of their number of three. One of them caught her toe on something, and all of a sudden there was blood and even more ruckus. I have to admit that even without the bleeding toe, the chickens looked rather worse for wear. They are molting, so they look a bit like something the cat dragged in.
In the end, my friend managed to catch them and carry them out to their ‘summer home’, a chicken tractor that – because it’s been covered by a tarp all winter – has a dirt floor that they can actually dig in. Once in there, the hens decided that this wasn’t too bad. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all. So at the end of the day, when it came time to move them back into the coop (which has a heat lamp that is still needed on these cool spring nights), the chickens again dug in their claws. And this time, there was no reasoning with them at all.
My friend finally admitted defeat, hooked up a heat lamp in the chicken tractor, threw some old blankets over top to keep out the cold, and called it a night. This morning, two of the hens did finally emerge, as you’ll see from the photos below, but one remains firmly ensconced in that chicken run.