The free-range chickens are no more. We lost three in as many days, and first blamed it on Alex’s new puppy, but since she muzzled him and the chickens were still showing up dead, their mortality is no doubt from the cold. So we rounded them up today and closed up the coop. They are caged chickens now, and better off for it, too.
I love taking care of my animals, though sometimes I forget this in the stress of the day, Today I prepared a special warm sugary drink for my nearly frozen feathered ones, and then hustled them all into the coop, with the help of Bert and J. It’s cold enough that they might still freeze—one hen in particular—and our extension chord is frozen under the ice, so we can’t put a heat lamp in the coop with them. But I think they’ll be alright. I’ll bring them more hot sugar water before dark, which will help a lot.
After the chickens were all snug, I went and checked on my goats. Their noses and ears were warm, so they were alright. I’ve kept them locked up since the snow hardened, which upsets them, but not as much as my coming in for a visit and not giving them more grain. Goats are absolute gluttons, no matter how adorable.
Even though the windchill was a bitter 2, and my feet were more frozen than not, I enjoyed the husbandry tasks of the day. This is usually the case. I like working outside, and even the more raunchy tasks like mucking out the goat barn give me satisfaction. I’ve just always wanted to have a little farm. But the truth is that nothing is fun, even things you absolutely love to do, when you are overwhelmed.
And yes, I have been overwhelmed. This is no big news. But I also think that being overwhelmed is more of a state of mind than a product of one’s outer life. Maybe? It might be the wrong time of year to seek a calmer inner state, but the holidays are over, and it’s a new year, so screw the ice and screw the snow. I’m going to follow my bliss, with a little help from my half gallon of St. John’s Wort tincture, which I crafted in the warm days of July. Here’s to happy flowers!