With the snowfall comes a personality change; my normally energetic and outgoing hens become “hesitant hens.” When the welcoming and familiar brown ground is covered by new white stuff, you get this:
Chickens popping their heads out and wondering if that white stuff is okay…or not. “What’s this?? Where’s the floor!? How am I supposed to go OUTSIDE? THERE IS NO OUTSIDE!!”
So much coaxing is involved: mealworms, sweet talk, scratch, just to have them TRY to come out.
They’ll come out all right–but only if they can float their way around the run. That’s Pancho (who started life as Francesca) on the branch. He flew–as much as chickens can fly–from the door to the roost with nary a toe grazing that snow. The girls would LAUNCH themselves from the pop doors–there were so many chickens on that roost than any addition would knock off a perching chicken.
Finally! All that cajoling paid off. Except they were back inside in less than 5 minutes and the mealworms and corn/millet mix was still there… When they saw patches of brown, they would come out. Next year I’ll have to remember to save a few bags of leaves for them just for occasions like this.