Yesterday after a hearty warm breakfast Joshua and I bundle up to clean out the chicken coop. I showed him my 6 ladies of laying, the big fat speckled chicken came with the place named Fiona, the 2 tan chickens that are still teenagers named Thelma and Louise. (those are my most dramatic crazy chickens, they get stuck up in trees next door or squawk like I am killing them if EVER I actually have to touch them.) The all black hen is their mother, she is a spit fire biter. I ALWAYS put on gloves when dealing with her. Her name is Momma Sue usually walking beside her sister Suzie Q, the silver head fluffy feeties easily startled other hen. It took Suzie Q 2 weeks before she step out of the chicken coop once we got her. The other day she saw my husband come outside and freaked out flipping over the fence like an idiot in her panic. Whenever I carry her, she shakes like she is dying in my arms, so annoying! Then last and the littlest hen is my white cheeked Little Suzie. Soft, calm and easily carried girl, she will chirp back to me whenever I call out for her. She spends most afternoons over the fence into the apartments at the back of our yard....so far all the chickens have the routine down being let out into the yard for a couple of hours then go to the fenced in part for safety as my dogs run by. Yesterday Joshua helped me gather the eggs and change out the straw. "Look at ALL that chicken poop! gross!" He said as I raked and laughed explaining "And that is just one week's worth!" He ran up on the chickens which scared them to death, so they all flew every which a way and I just shook my head because sometimes I can't help to wonder if chickens are honestly stupid when panicked. After a few hours I told Joshua that I needed to take out fresh water for the chickens once again, he protested "We just did that this morning!?!" I nodded and explained "It's below freezing so that water bowl is frozen by now, fresh water for the chickens is THE most important thing you can do for them in the winter. They need a dry safe place to sleep, it doesn't have to be heated as long as they have fresh water everyday." He raced outside to see if I was right about that big bowl of water being frozen, bewildered he carried it back inside the house "That is weird! Look! it's ice now!"
I carried out the pitcher of fresh water chuckling at how fun it is teaching about chickens, for I have learned so much in the last 6 months myself! We even found a frozen egg too, it cracked but the yoke stayed frozen solid. "Isn't that cool? you can see inside the egg without the mess!" I showed Joshua, who asked "Where's the baby chick?" I exclaimed "Baby chick!?! if there WAS a chick in there I would freak out dude!" He laughed at me as I looked at the frozen egg again in alarm. "You have to have a rooster, a boy chicken to get chicks INSIDE that egg, so luckily my ladies just lay eggs to eat NOT to have more chickens around here!" I waved my hand out across the snowy yard. "Do you have any idea if each egg became another chicken, I would go crazy that would be WAY to crowded! my 6 ladies keep me very busy as it is, Noooo more chicks please! I am happy to not have a rooster unless I move to a real farm. Joshua looked around then replied in his cute smirky clever way "You kinda have a small farm right here." he shrugged and I giggled as we raced back into the warm house to put puzzles back together and finish coloring for the rest of the afternoon.