It was not raining when I did chores this morning, but the forecast warned that rain was coming. Still, I opened to doors to the chicken coops. I need to learn better. When it rains, the Silkie chickens must stay "cooped up."
This afternoon, when I walked out with dogs to check on all the animals, I found the silly Silkie chickens huddled, damp and miserable, under the small overhang of the garage. Their clean, dry coop was across the yard, but rather than be there with plentiful food, water and warmth, they sat, sodden and complaining. I scooped up the chicks, which are normally nearly impossible to catch, and one hen, and stuffed them in the coop. It took three trips, squishing over the wet grass, holding unhappy birds, before I got them all where they should have been. They seemed cheerfully surprised to see the full bowls of food, and the fresh water. Their brains? Not so big! It's pretty sad that they don't know to come in out of the rain.
Meanwhile, the new layer flock alternated between running about and eating, and hanging out in the hutch in the pasture. They have a warm coop full of food as well, but they like to be out foraging. And their sleek feathers repel water better than the fluff the Silkies wear.
The ducks are in their glory when it rains.
The two little brown hen ducks are at different stages in their annual molting, (when they shed their old, worn feathers and grow beautiful new ones.) Notice the bird in the back of the top picture looks rather bedraggled. The other one has finished her molt and looks so beautiful. If I could carve wood I'd like to carve a duck that looks like her, with all those lovely, subtle shades of soft brown. These ducks have had rough feathers ever since I bought them at auction in the spring. I have been looking forward to seeing how they'd look with bright, fresh plumage, and I am not disappointed.
The goats flatly refuse to go out in the rain, thank you very much.
They are content to stay in the shed, with a rack crammed full of good hay to nibble on. Chanel the horse wanders in and out. Rain does not bother her.
As for me, I have a pot of stew bubbling away in the kitchen, and a fire in the wood stove. I am content to watch the rain outside, and see the wind toss autumn leaves damply about. Unlike the chickens, I know how to come in out of the rain.