|In my jammies saying goodnight to Oyster Cracker|
These last couple of nights I have desperately been trying to figure out the girl’s sleeping arrangements. They always seem to be mixing it up. Finally, I am finding all four Silkies sleeping side by side on one roost together. No one is sleeping in the nesting boxes. It has taken months to achieve this and I find myself feeling like I need to do some sort of celebration dance. However, the other three who have roosted religiously since they were little are no longer roosting. Last night was the first night I really decided to investigate just what is going on with their bedtime sleeping arrangement.
As I peered through the open lid of the nesting box, I found Tilly on the roost across from the Silkies. She was asleep facing the wall. Directly in front of Tilly were the two Buff Orpingtons laying in the shavings. All I could see was a big round golden fluffy butt in front of me. I reached in as far as I could. I ruffled her tail and tried to get her to move. She was as still as a statue. I reached in with my other arm to see if I could gain a few inches in my reach. It was not working. They were content. I began to weigh my options. I had let them sleep like this for two evenings already. I did not want them to start this new habit. I determined I had to try and get them to roost.
I knew that I could not reach the girls through the nesting boxes. I knew the Silkies were happily sleeping on the roost in front of the large double doors. I was left with only one option; the pop door leading into the run. I climbed into the run and opened up the pop door. I whispered to the girls. They replied back with sleepy chatter.
With my left arm, I reached in past Tilly’s fluffy bottom on the roost and headed straight underneath the non-compliant Buff Orpington. It was Sunshine. I gently nudged her upward. Her head was underneath of Oyster Cracker’s bottom. She was toasty warm, but she probably could have suffocated under all that fluff! I nudged her upward and she stood. No sooner, had Tilly stood up on the roost. Then I saw Oyster Cracker. Oyster Cracker was peering at me through Tilly’s legs! She looked as though she wore Tilly’s butt fluff as a Polish Hen hat. She cocked her head from side to side. Sleepily she stared at me as if to say, “What are you doing Mom?” I felt as though I had suddenly entered a game of Twister with the chickens. Sunshine had now found herself a place on the perch and I reached in to guide Oyster Cracker out from underneath Tilly. She is one heavy girl! I had to reach in with my other hand and guide her to the roost. Finally, everyone was on the roost. I waited for a few moments. No one stirred.
I have no idea how or why the bigger girls ended up in that sleeping arrangement. Strangely, they all seemed comfortable. I guess it must be how little kids feel when they play Twister. They are so limber. Their bodies can easily place one hand on red, reach over their friend and put another hand on blue while their legs are still on yellow and green. I for one, find myself achy from just sleeping the wrong way at night. But I can tell you that I am getting much better at Chicken Twister. As I write this, I have just returned from locking up the girls for the evening. I peeked in. I knew exactly what to do. I peered in through the pop door. I confirmed Oyster Cracker’s head underneath of Tilly. I backed out Sunshine. She climbed on the roost. I backed out Oyster Cracker. She climbed on the roost. They all settled down and this time, I had this game of Chicken Twister down to a science. Like a well oiled machine, the girls and I performed tonight’s round of Chicken Twister to an audience of four fluffy Silkie butts. Ironically, the Silkies missed all of the action as they were obliviously facing in the wrong direction, happily sleeping wing to wing on their roost.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest