Here comes the snow!
It has been snowing for a few hours already tonight. Big, wet, sticky flakes.
Tonight I ventured out into the snow after dark to check on the chickens.
We close up the chicken door after dark to keep some heat in the coop - Randy had told me he closed up the little chicken door already, then he went out to visit some friends down the street. I thought I'd check on the chickens since I hadn't seen them all day. It was good that I decided to visit my chickens - the front door into the coop was partially open. The chickens couldn't get out, there's another door that goes into the coop, but the snow would have gotten into the front door and made it wet and warped it.
I made sure to close the door tight when I left.
When I went into the coop the chickens were all sleeping on their roosts.
When I visit them at night I use a small flashlight and don't turn on the overhead light. If I turned on the overhead light the chickens would start a nighttime party in the coop when they should be sleeping~ My chickens love to start parties at nighttime... They'd be walking around the coop, some of them would suddenly realize they were starving and they'd have to raid the feeder. Every single bird would have to have a drink from the waterer. They'd be chatting with each other. A few pecking order fights would break out. Before I knew it one of the boys would be having sex with one of the hens. The rest of the roosters would start crowing. Everyone would want to sit on my lap or be held. Crazy chickens!
And so, I use a small flashlight to minimize the interruption and keep them sleeping. All 26 birds were sleeping in the coop tonight. A few had their heads tucked under their wings.
I woke up and held a few hens, rubbing their soft necks. I love sleepy birds, they are so sweet.
When I made my way back to the house after 10 minutes in the coop, my previous footprints weren't even visible in the snow anymore. The snow had already covered them. Here's some pictures of the backyard snow after I returned from the coop.
Using a big flashlight I could see a small herd of deer in the backyard, hunkering down in the snow. They weren't visible in these pictures, although they were out there!
I worry about my guinea fowl. I spied them up in the huge pine tree over the chicken coop tonight when I went out to the coop. They sleep every night in the pine tree. So far we haven't lost any guineas this winter. I don't know how they don't freeze.
A few nights ago an owl attacked them at nighttime. They were screaming bloody murder ~ Randy and I went running out at 9pm with huge flashlights and found the guineas scattered all over the front yard on the ground. They are never on the ground after dark. They were chased away from their roosts in the pine tree by what we believe was an owl. They screamed, separated, one hid under a car, the rest of them went into different trees all around the yard up near the house. Throughout that night I heard them screaming, poor birds. Come morning they were all still alive, although one had lost some feathers from his back. They all gather at daybreak in front of the chicken coop where Randy gives them hot water and guinea food.
We're supposed to get approximately 10 inches of snow tonight. That's what the weatherman said before my satellite TV went out. We can't have cable TV out here, and the satellite goes out whenever there's a bad storm.
And so the latest winter storm begins here in Maryland.
At least I still have power! For now!
I'm sure I'll be posting more pictures soon!