Let’s be honest, Monday mornings aren’t easy for anyone. After two days of fun, relaxation and sleeping in, we are jolted back into the week with a blaring alarm clock only to be staring five full days of work right in the face.
But this past Monday morning was particularly difficult. Not for me, mind you, I was happy as a clam in the water. But Roz, MaryAnne and Susie Q were as unhappy as, well, chickens. In snow.
For the first time this season, Minneapolis was greeted with a blanket of snow. And my feathered friends had absolutely no idea what to do.
They were perfectly toasty inside their coop. The heat lamp was glowing, surrounding them with a cozy, red-tinted blanket of warmth as they roosted throughout the night.
And, as I’ve done every morning since the day they moved outside, I trekked out to the back yard as the sun was rising to welcome the day. They are used to seeing me open the door and say hello. But they certainly aren’t used to icy flakes and frigid wind biting them in the beak first thing in the morning.
Welcome to Minnesota, little birds.
Susie Q was the first one to venture outside. She tentatively walked down the ramp into the run and began pecking at the snowflakes on the ground. The toughness she demonstrated as tiny chick seemed to come right back to her as she went on with her morning routine.
MaryAnne was the next to emerge. But not even a surely growling tummy and the lure of breakfast could keep her outside. She fluffed her feathers in disgust and promptly marched back into the coop.
And then there was Roz. She seemed to be evaluating her sisters’ opposite reactions. The Americauna peered out the door of the coop, stretching and craning her neck to experience this brand new weather phenomenon without committing to it.
After her thirty second assessment, out she went to join Susie for a morning meal.
But as the snowflakes grew fatter and began falling more steadily, Roz and Susie Q decided they’d had enough and made their way back into the safety of their coop. Shielded from the wind and warmed by the heat lamp, their claws and feathers thawed and they settled in for the rest of the morning.
As most first snows do, the flakes that coated the ground, the coop and the kale melted within a few hours and the young hens spent the rest of the day as they always do, pecking at grass and bugs in the yard and snacking on the mushy fruit scattered around the base of the apple tree on the other side of the yard.
For now, the rude awakening that came on Monday morning is forgotten. But this is Minnesota, ladies, and there’s surely more where that came from.