The chickens refused to go out today. The little door that releases them to the outside pen is opened from inside the coop; you can watch it (and the chickens leaving the coop) through a full-sized door, which is covered by wire mesh. When I opened their door this morning, the chickens stepped onto the ramp as usual; but today the ones in front screeched to a halt, looked at the snow everywhere, and then backed up. The chicken mob then pressed up against the wire mesh door, looking at me and complaining loudly. I’m not sure what they wanted me to do.
They have been in snow before, after the Halloween snowstorm. Either they forgot, or they disliked this snow in particular (it was very slushy today…the beauty of last night’s snowfall was fleeting). I tried to lure them out with kitchen scraps, but they just watched from the ramp. Finally one Dominique did come out but she did her best to avoid the snow, hopping onto the logs we have in their outside pen.
To further emphasize their protest, they only laid three eggs today…one of the lowest counts yet (they are averaging about five a day now).
We expect rain tonight which should clear the snow away, and sunny skies tomorrow will make the chickens happy. I’m still waiting for a really good snow.