gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Early to bed, early to rise

on August 23, 2012

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Well, the alarm clock is set to “stun” for early tomorrow morning as the smallest boy returns to school after the so-called summer holidays. Name tapes have been sewn on by yours truly, pencil case restocked, new shoes bought. Still, getting up and being fully functional while there is still a 7 on the clock will be a challenge.
But what about the hens? Haven’t I been getting up to let them out as the sun peeps over the horizon? Frankly no I haven’t. I discovered early in the holidays that if the coop door was left open a teeny weeny bit somehow the ladies would squeeze themselves out as soon as the first shafts of light hit the coop, ready for their day to start, probably some 2 1/2 hours before I felt ready to face the world. In the past few weeks there have even been eggs already laid by the time I tootle across the garden (still in my pjs) with fresh hen feed, getting accusing looks as if to say “don’t ever say you’re a morning person!” Hens have poor eyesight so they naturally do all their eating, laying (and pooping) when there is adequate light, and then head for bed when it is dark. In winter I suspect their days will be extremely short!
It has crossed my mind that the sleeping hens may be cold or getting a draught through the gap, but it really is so small, and they do sleep at the furthest side of the coop, all in a big pile of brown feathers, like the aftermath of a rusty pillow fight.
Modern technology has developed light sensitive coops doors set on timers, the Internet is full of ideas how to adapt electric curtain pulls to be used on hen house doors. Is it just me, or does a device called the “Poultry Butler” not sound more like a stern gentleman carrying a silver platter with a freshly roasted and carved chicken?
While it is still mild I will stick with my technology free method at weekends, but on school days, from tomorrow, I should be down early enough to let them out manually, shooting out of the coop door like wee brown corks fizzing out of a green plastic champagne bottle.
And how will I myself readjust to the new regime? Either I get a rooster, or there’s an app for that 🙂

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