Yesterday we had a very soggy, windy and rainy morning. Knowing that we were expecting the turn in weather, I really wanted to clean that coop out. So the day before yesterday, it was on my to-do list.
Tuesdays are my busiest days. Things only became more complicated this week because one of my kids was home sick, my husband had an appointment in Boston and my other child had swim lessons at 3:30pm. After swim lessons, I hurried home to try and beat the sunset. At 4:20pm, the sun had already set and darkness was quickly approaching. It never really takes me more than 15 minutes to clean out the coop, so I decided to go for it. Little did I know what was about to happen.
Cleaning supplies in hand, I approached the coop. I soon realized that the flock was already inside for the night. However, I did not think twice cleaning the coop. I figured that the chickens could just go into the run with the dusky light. I was wrong.
The chickens who typically run out of the coop when I begin to clean, huddled in one nesting box. All five chickens were crammed in a 8″x8″ nesting box. As I scooped out the soiled litter, they stood still. I quickly worked around their one nesting box until there was nothing else to clean. I gently shooed them out one by one. They were not happy about it but obliged. As I walked off to grab some straw, Chocolate jumped out of the coop. Oyster Cracker followed but then quickly returned inside. Once all back inside, they went to the other side of the coop and huddled in the corner. As I began to add the clean bedding, return the clean roosts and food containers, I realized that they could not see. Those poor birds, were like the blind. I gently picked each one up and guided their scaly feet to the safety of the roosts. Once they were all nestled together, I heard a pleasure trill. I knew that they were once again happy.
I did not think that the chickens would have had such a difficult time seeing at dusk. I now know differently. I will think twice about interrupting their natural instincts of roosting when the sun goes down. I still wonder what they were thinking about my rude interruption. They must have been so confused when they woke to find a clean house and that they were not sleeping in their pecking order.