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  • Barb Bolander

Frozen Fun! Tales from the farm..

It is no big secret it was colder then cold here in MN this week. I knew the cold was coming, so that means preparing. It was Sunday early evening, we had just got back from a birthday party, I had been out to feed and set up a space heater and a heat lamp for my Silkies. I am very cautious with any heating device and only use them for short amounts of time. I never use heat lamps for overnight unless I will be going out and checking on them. I do not recommend heat lamps ever!

I went back out around 9PM to find snow everywhere in my coop. I literally screamed (I won't repeat the words). I shoveled out what I could, then decided I needed to go make a plan. So I go back to the house, neither girl is wanting to go to bed, no matter how many times I said go to bed. Mataya is freaking out about the snow in the coop, thinking our birds are going to die. Avery is just piggy backing emotions, because if Mataya is upset she should be too. I gather my game plan and tell them one last time to go to bed.

So I am bundled head to toe, grab my lumber and random cardboard pieces and trek down to the coop. There is again another two inches of snow, along with wind blowing from every direction. The first order of business is to get the ducks locked inside.

After chasing them around out side in the frigid wind I finally get them inside. I am then nailing grain bags to any spot that has a draft coming in, when the front door fly's open, scaring me half to death, so of course I wind up pounding my finger. The girls are semi bundled with the dog in toe. Avery has complete snow gear on, but Mataya not so much. She is in jammy pants, a tee shirt with a light winter jacket and her hat. She starts in, "Where have you been, what are you doing, what can we do to help?" "Go back to the house with your no socks and tennis shoes." Nope they needed to help with something. One thing that is great and also not so great, is my girls are so independent and assertive. No is rarely in their vocabulary both coming in and going out.

They all jump in to help, Avery is trying to look for eggs in the snow piles, Oscar chasing ducks around in a circle, and Mataya is shivering while sharing her love to the Silkies. After adding more straw to each of the pens, and of course over the top of the dog (who refuses to stop herding the ducks), I decide to move onto the other coop. This is where the fun really started. So the girls decide to go up to the house because they aren't about to help with that darn goose. The dog refuses to go with because he thinks he still has work to do.

The big chickens in the second coop are pretty easy, you just have to make sure all the roosters are secure in their pens. They will fight till the death if you don't and it is too cold for that nonsense. I blocked off all their doors to outside, easy peasy, no drafts coming in. Not much snow in this coop either, so that is a plus. I turn around and face my friend Harry (The Goose). It was like an old Western movie started playing in the background. You know the one I am talking about with John Wayne. I am really not in the mood to sing, but I did make a promise, so I start singing. This time it was more along the lines of, "You're not going to give me any trouble, cuz I will kick your fluffy feathery tail." He still wasn't amused with my singing.

I am standing at his pen door, looking at my piece of MDF board trying to figure out how I am going to get in there, around all four of those rascal birds to block off the door without them running outside. Meanwhile he is hissing and trying to attack me through the door. I just keep singing, "Get along little goosey, you can't bite me right now."

I know I have one shot to get in there to do this. So I take a breath and open the door, and of course a chicken flies in under my radar almost tripping me. Harry goes into attack mode on the chicken. I whack Harry on the head with the MDF, reach down to grab the chicken, only to get a full beak wrapped around my hand. This is not going as I planned!!

I am now screaming, the dog is outside barking and the turkey has slipped her way out the door and into the chickens pen. I grab the chicken who is being pulled by the goose, yes it is now a tug of war battle, I reach down and push Harry back with my other hand. Taylor (the other goose) is now hissing and coming at me, the Tom Turkey is trying to push past us to get to his girlfriend. It is just chaos!

The chicken is making some sort of sound I have never heard before as I break her free and throw her behind me. There is no more singing at this point, just a lot of yelling "Get back! Knock it off! Your going to be dinner I promise!" I grab my board rush in and slam it down in front of the opening, Harry is hot on my tail. He is trying to attack me. "Not today Harry, not today!" I grab him by his neck and attempt to hold him back while trying to position the board so it will stay, he is doing this mad floppy thing. My arm feels like that blow up man we use for our sales, but I finally get him in a position up against the wall where he can't move. I am still struggling with the board when the Tom decides he is going to try to mate a chicken. Luckily I think I have the board solid, but now how I am going to get out of this? I inch my way while pulling Harry, Taylor is still honking and hissing at me. The Tom has a chicken pinned to the ground. UGH! I let go of Harry when I get to the door, grab Tom and attempt to push him back to his pen (he weighs like 30lbs easy) Harry is now coming out of the pen, ACK!!!!

I just stopped and stood there. They all stopped and stood there too. Like who is going to make the next move. I turn, only to get bit in the butt, (good thing for snow pants) I grab the female turkey tossing her in the pen, the Tom follows. Harry with a beak full of snow pants looks up at me like, "Oh crap!" I turn around and say, "GET!" He let's go and hisses while backing into his pen.

I have had enough fun for one night. Everything else would have to wait until morning because I was now too exhausted. Good thing was when I got in the house, the girls where in bed fast asleep.



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