Spiders, socks and scrapbooks – winter on the chicken farm

Locust Lane winter geese and the odd duck

Dear Chicken Lady,  I’m getting all the bird pens ready for winter so the snow stays out and the birds stay in. I’m afraid I’ll be so bored this winter with nothing much to do. What will I do? Sincerely,  Dreading winter

Dear Dreadful, Gosh darn it, you’ll be begging for boredom by the New Year. The joys of winter will be many. We won’t scare you with the perils of snow; just know it means extra work. The spiders will not have learned that they can cease decorating in the barn so the cobwebs will annoy your husband who will want them cleaned up (and even though you tell him to have fun, you will be the one to get the new filters for the shop vac). You can repair hoses that cracked last summer, kick and repair wagon tires after untangling the long pieces of twine that wound up around the axle, and fight the mice for control of feed containers.

Indoors, you can check belts and hoses on your washing machine. It is an essential piece of winter equipment, as you will be slipping on ice, landing in mud, soaking every pair of gloves and mittens you own. If you could also figure out how to wash the dogs in the machine you could probably make a fortune. Why wash the dogs in the winter? Study up on the miracle of the canine sensory organs, because they will continue to find rotten eggs and rotten anything within roaming distance and share their joy with you.

Locust Lane winter dog

You can darn your lovely striped socks, and enlarge your rubber-band ball for use in the summer mouse season. All the raccoon pelts you saved can now be turned into coonskin caps and muffs (a must have on the fashion scene this year). Keep up your scrapbook of great moments in the bird pens, clip coupons to save every penny for treats for your birds – the list is endless! I make lists of things to do in the coming season. This year, I will make a list of places to keep lists so I can find them. They really are more useful that way. If you get bored in the winter, you need to reexamine your commitment to the life of poultry enthusiast because you are just too doggone out of the loop. Sincerely,  Chicken Lady

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