November 20, 2014 – The ground was so hard today, that my feet were barking by the time I came in after ranging. You can tell we’re getting closer to winter – frozen dirt, no chipmunks to chat with, no worms to pull. All of the leaves are down and you can almost see the brewery through the woods from the back steps of Coop #3. You might think that late fall would be boring to a chicken. It’s true that we won’t be enjoying a barbecue or the slip-n-slide any time soon, but this was the perfect day for a steam.
A group of us girls marched through the thinly worn path on the edge of the chicken yard that leads into the woods to our sauna shack. We looked smashing in our terrycloth robes, rubber sandals and thick bath towels. Lottie, Addie and Sawyer sported matching turbans, but I wanted the steam to clean out the pores in my comb, so I kept my head uncovered.
We sat in there for a good hour until out bodies were so relaxed that we felt like loopy noodles. I found out a couple of interesting tidbits during our spa day. Peaches let Francis Drake hold her wing and walk her back to Coop #1 after they hunted together for slugs. Emaline is struggling with a dirty bottom. I offered her a jar of cleansing dirt that I put up a few days ago, but she said the bath bucket in Coop #1 is full and unfrozen. Wilma recommended that she eat a few pumpkin seeds just in case she has a case of the worms. Dolly Parton, our shyest hen, asked if she could come with me one day soon to check out the recycling buckets in the neighborhood. She never wanders far from Coop #2, so this was huge! As luck would have it, tomorrow is trash pickup day, so if we get out there early, we can peruse to our hearts content before the recycling truck thunders up our road.
We didn’t invite the bantams today, but only because they don’t yet have bathrobes. Emaline and Violet volunteered to make them each one and sew their initials on the lapels. We agreed to have another spa day next week (if the weather stays cold), and surprise the pullets with their first girls’ day out.
We cooled down on the short walk back. I felt invigorated! I decided to pull out my stamp collection and admire my one acquisition – a striking hen on the face of a 3-cent beauty. Stamp collecting is a winter hobby of mine. I might splurge and buy another from the catalog I recently received, but first, I’m going to pour myself a warm cup of tea, a slice of banana bread, and snuggle into the comfort of my nest box.
Maybe it’s the sauna or maybe it’s the time of year, but I feel like a million bucks!