It goes without saying that everyone on the Little Lucky is suffering from cabin/coop/barn fever. After the latest onslaught from the Great Endless Winter, I was up at my usual 4A, shuffled to the sliding glass door to let Scrappy out and....caught myself before I slid the door open. All 16+ inches of snow would have come tumbling into the room. Heave large, loud sigh. I shuffled back to the bedroom and threw on my barn clothes, grabbed a broom to keep the snow OUTside, and shoveled a path over the deck, down the steps, through the poultry yard and over to the coop. Scrappy was glued to my heels. We then went back into the house, where I steeled myself with a cup of tea (still no coffee, dammit) and contemplated the miles of shoveling still ahead.
Long story short, I ended up shoveling paths to the barn, along the side of the barn, to the front of the barn, down the one paddock slope to the sheep gate, behind the sheep gate, around the water bucket, to the shed, ad nauseum. Then I strapped on my snowshoes and slogged to the front of the house, where I shoveled some more. When it snows more than six inches, I cannot get my front door open. All in all, I think I shoveled for five hours. Then my dairy farmer neighbor showed up with his tractor and front end loader and removed the four foot ice dam left by the snow plows from the foot of the driveway. He came back with his plow truck and cleared my driveway. I love my neighbors.
I've been trying to keep boredom at bay in the chicken coop, as they can get up to all kinds of mischief when they're bored. I keep an area shoveled in front of their door so that they can come out and I put a flake of hay in the middle, which keeps them entertained for hours. While they are outside, I take advantage and clean things up inside. It was on one of these cleaning reconnaissance maneuvers that I discovered someone had laid a very large egg by the chicken door. I put it in my pocket and didn't think anymore of it. The next day I was filling their feeder and found Thomas the Turkey crammed (unsuccessfully) in a nesting box. A tiny, dim bulb clicked on. Holey Moley - Thomas is a Thomasina! Now I am busy fashioning a larger nesting box for her, as she tends to smoosh any chicken eggs in the box when she jackknifes her way in.
I provide evergreen branches for the sheep and goats, and have managed to shovel some pathways for the shorties so they can get out and move around. Looking ahead to this week's forecast, they call for weather in the 40s to 50, with rain. I can envision going from knee-deep snow to knee-deep mud overnight. Joy.