Here it is, Christmas Eve Day. In Ohio, we are enjoying a balmy 55 degree day with not a snowflake in sight. The wood burner is dark, I'm sitting here sweating, and thinking about opening the windows. (However, I'm sure that within the next few minutes I will be feeling a little chilly, so the windows will stay closed. At least for now.) Yes, it will be a Green Christmas this year. No complaints here.
My opening paragraph is completely off-topic, because I'm really going to write about chickens and cats. We have two cats. They are supposed to be outside cats, but one, Rascal, is working her way to becoming an inside cat. OK, she's practically an inside cat. Our other cat, Lutrell, is an outside cat. Hubby made them some very nice boxes, stacked one upon the other, which sit on our deck. Lutrell, our yellow cat, makes the most use out of them. Rascal is usually inside, or finding herself locked in the garage (which was the case last night.)
We also have about a dozen chickens. They were fenced in, but after we got some hogs, and after the hogs rooted all around the fence line, they made a way for the chickens to escape. When the chickens get up in the morning, usually around 7:00 or so, they make a bee-line to my flower patch where there just happens to be a bird feeder, and scratch and dig for all the fallen sunflower seeds. They eventually make their way to the deck and find the cat food dish, and peck away at any remaining food that has been left there by Lutrell. (Chickens LOVE cat food!) When I get up in the morning, usually around 6:00, I feed Lutrell, so he can eat, unmolested, before the chickens arrive.
The other morning, as I opened the door to the deck to feed Lutrell, I couldn't believe it. There was a chicken. I call her "Little Red", short for Little Red Hen. I asked her what she was doing up so early, but she just clucked at me. I told Hubby, "The chickens are up already. It's still dark outside." He was amazed, too. So, I let Lutrell come inside, just to eat. Otherwise, the chickens scare him away and eat his food.
Yesterday morning, while going through the same routine, I heard a rustling noise as I started to feed Lutrell. I looked in the direction of the noise, and saw Little Red emerging from the cat box! (You have got to be kidding me!) So again, Lutrell got to eat his breakfast inside. Later on, as I was getting ready for work, I glanced outside, and this sight caught me eye:
Wait. What? Oh my goodness! Crazy chicken! Then my eyes were directed to the lower box. At a quick glance, I thought it was Lutrell, sleeping. But, upon closer inspection I saw this:
What in the world is going on?? And, for how long?? (This explains our recent low egg count.) Apparently, for a week! And, Lutrell has been doing his part being a surrogate father, by keeping the eggs warm...if only we had a rooster!
Ever since the time change, the chickens have been going into their coop to roost, usually around 4::00, as soon as it starts getting a little dark outside. Last night, before going to bed, I decided to check the box to see if Little Red was spending the night on the deck. Nope, both boxes were clear. I felt around for an egg just to be sure. Nothing. Good. Maybe she was done with venturing down to the cat boxes. Au contrair. This morning, as I went to feed Lutrell, who popped out, but Little Red! And yes, she left another egg!
While I appreciate her thoughtfulness and consideration on making egg gathering easier, all the chickens will have to pay for Little Red's crazy adventure. They will have to stay locked up in the chicken coop for a few days until she remembers the proper place to lay her eggs.
Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!