All Cooped Up

It rained for over a week. Drizzle. Steady downpours. Gusts of drenching torrents. Not a glimmer of sun. The chickens dislike getting wet. But they hate being crowded indoors even more. So they’d brave the rain, look around a bit and make a half-hearted attempt to scratch in the mud, and then head back into the henhouse, where they fluffed up and jockeyed for position on the perches and the nesting boxes.

We hung a cabbage for the girls, which kept them busy somewhat. It’s better for the hens to peck at a vegetable than at each other. They played cabbage tetherball. But they still weren’t happy. When I checked in on them, they clucked loudly and not with their normal cheerful tones. It was more like, “Well, do something. Get rid of this rain!” Surely, they thought, if I could bring them food then I could also change the weather. Luckily, chickens don’t hold grudges. This morning the sun finally came out. The chickens are busy outside and when I come to the gate of their pen they come running over, clucking with good cheer and asking me if I’ve found any bugs lately.

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