Two nights ago it was pouring out by 5 pm. I was hoping when I went out to the coop, the girls would be safely tucked inside and dry. However, that was not the case. Standing there in the rain were Feathers, Fifi and Dottie Speckles; soaked. As I was going out on a dinner date with my husband, I did not have time to go into the run and get muddied up retrieving them. I threw a small towel over a portion of the run and hoped for the best. I had heard terrible things can happen if you let your chickens get too wet from soaking rain.
I returned around 7:30 pm and the rain had subsided. I changed my clothes and then ventured out to the coop area. There were the three wet chickens in the same spots where I had left them, standing there like statues! I can make sense of the fact that Dottie Speckles and Fifi were outside. Feathers, I assumed was just being maternal. She usually does not have a problem with the larger girls in the flock.
One by one, I caught them and wrapped them in warm dry toasty towels from the dryer. Feathers absolutely LOVED it!! She nuzzled right in against my body as my hands worked quickly to dry her off. Her head feathers were soaked, completely covering her eyes. She was sopping wet from the rain. However, the most interesting thing I noticed when I was drying her, was that when I peeked between the feathers, the downy portion underneath was completely dry. The chickens, like ducks, have down. After all, why wouldn't they? I suppose all birds do.
The other two I dried with new warm towels. They did not enjoy it as much. At first, I think they were afraid. I had never had to pamper either of them before. The best part was hearing them talk to me. Dottie Speckles, as large as she is, has a very high pitch peeping that still sounds like a baby chick, even now at 11 weeks. On the other hand, Fifi, the most delicate little girl, has a rather deep alto like voice.
As I was drying Fifi, she sounded her own version of the "chicken alarm". Every single warm and dry chicken came out of the coop to see what was wrong. The light rain did not stop them. It was nice to see that they were concerned for this little girl at the bottom of the pecking order. They had confirmed to me that she definitely is considered family.
As I prepared to return Fifi to the coop, I had noticed that all the others had already ventured back inside the coop. Then with a quick little nudge, I popped Fifi through the coop door and locked it, tucking everyone in the dry coop for the night.