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We haven’t done a Fowl Friday post in a while, so I thought we’d do a quick update.  Through much of winter the chickens have been hunkered down, trying to stay out of the rain, and of course, last weekend…the snow.

Frosted Fowl

Our retired orchard hens were somewhat befuddled with the white cold layer that lightly covered the garden on Saturday morning.

"We're California girls...we did NOT sign up for snow!"

Our young chickens, now almost a year old, apparently generated more than enough body heat between them to actually melt the snow on the roof of their coop!

There's no question which end of the coop the girls are housed in at night!

The snow on Frodo’s pen helped to somewhat conceal the fact that as yet, although it’s primed, I still haven’t managed to get around to painting it. Sorry Frodo, I’ll catch up as soon as the hives are painted, I promise.

Snow on the roof of Frodo's pen

Frodo is better equipped for snow than our other chickens though…at least he has leg warmers!

Turns out feathered feet are useful after all

Frightened Fowl

Speaking of Frodo.  Our drama prone rooster has been up to his old tricks, and has continued to garner the attention of the local wildlife during the last couple of weeks.

Frodo - our rooster with at least 9 lives, and counting...

For months, since Zilla was killed, we’ve had a tenacious Bobcat endlessly stalking the fowl on the farm.  The girls have essentially been on lock-down ever since, as the bobcat was sighted almost daily from November through the end of January.  Just as things were starting to calm down though…something else showed up.

We now have a young coyote on patrol

At first we thought this visit was a one off.  This particular coyote looks like a youngster, albeit a rather raggedy looking one.

This coyote slinked down the retaining wall...

...charged toward the pen...

...and the rest, was a blur!

Frodo clearly was not amused by the incursion…

…especially when the next afternoon, the coyote returned!

Like the Bobcat in recent months, this coyote is persistent and has been around almost every day this week.  It’s not the first time we’ve had coyotes around stalking our chickens.

This coyote was wandering near the coop

We don’t see them here as much as the Bobcats, but they are occasionally around in winter and spring, and they’re not in the least bit shy, even during daylight hours.

This coyote was observed stalking our first flock of Buff Orpingtons

To help set up a buffer zone around Frodo’s portable pen, we’ve now put our portable electric poultry fence around the perimeter.  Although the fence doesn’t keep the Bobcats out, it does seem to slow the coyotes down, and helps to provide a buffer zone around the pen so this coyote can’t just walk right up and scare the tail feathers off of our poor rooster.  Let’s face it, losing your tail feathers once is bad enough!  At least Frodo’s pen has now proven to be both bobcat and coyote proof.  Frodo thinks that’s something worth crowing about!

...and no, Frodo still doesn't sound like a typical rooster, but he tries

Feathered Friends

Coyotes aren’t the only wildlife visiting Frodo though…look who was accidentally trapped in Frodo’s pen!

This Dark-Eyed Junco clearly didn't know that Frodo has a 'no subleasing' clause in his contract

This little Junco must have slipped in before I locked Frodo up for the night, as first thing in the morning, there he was, confused and clinging to the side wall.  No worries though, he was quickly released unharmed, and I don’t think Frodo ever noticed that he was there.