Cabin Fevered Zombie Hens

Hens in the barn
Hens in the barn

Once again the hens refused to leave the coop this morning.  It’s been days, maybe even weeks, with the exception of one warm day, that they’ve been out of the coop.  And I don’t like it.  I mean, it was fine on those sub-zero days, the ground covered in snow and no sun in sight.  But the past few days it’s been 30 degrees out and there’s patches of ground showing between the ice and snow.  They should be outside.

And I don’t know if that’s true or not.  I don’t know if they should really be outside, or if it’s normal for chickens to spend day after day in a 3″x 5″ coop in the winter, but as I said, I don’t like it.  I know they’re chickens, but they must be getting a little bored.  And if there’s one thing I don’t want to see is hens with Cabin Fever.  I do know how chickens can be.   Suddenly, my mind is filling with apocalyptic chicken images.  Chickens don’t have to be Zombies to peck each other to death.

So this morning I stood outside the coop and made clucking noises.  In the warm weather this gets them running to me no matter where they are in the yard.  I thew the soggy remains of my breakfast  (Round House Granola with blue berries and banana) on the ground outside the door to the coop and made more clucking noises.  The gray hen poker her head out then retreated.  “Come on hens,” I tried to control the frustration in my voice “there’s fresh fruit and gourmet granola out here.”  They didn’t hear me, or weren’t listening or didn’t care.   Images of Cabin Fevered Zombie Hens came back to me.  I was sure the little white Leghorn would be the first to go.  She wouldn’t have a chance against those two big bruisers. So I opened the big door at the back of the coop, reached in and gave them all a little nudge out the door.

Jon said maybe it’s good we don’t have kids.  I’d be one of those mothers always telling them to go out and play.  He thinks I’m a bit obsessed with the hens being in the coop.  And he might be right, but I don’t really think he is.  This afternoon the chickens are having a good time hanging out in the barn by the lawn mower, scratching at the dirt and doing what chickens were meant to do.  And even if they don’t really need to get out of the coop, it can’t be bad for them, and well, it makes me feel better.

18 thoughts on “Cabin Fevered Zombie Hens

  1. Those are really lucky hens to have you looking out for them!
    Hang in there. We are one day closer to spring.
    From Fran

  2. That’s too funny, I’m sure there is something satisfying in booting their feathered butts outside. I grew up with the same thing… go outside and entertain yourselves… and we did, after the initial whine, then it was a battle to get us in for dinner. One thing our society has lost unless you live way out in the country. But hens, yes I can see a version of the Birds movie looming… eak.

  3. Nice, Maria. If it’s one thing the world doesn’t need it’s entitled, spoiled hens! Good job teaching them who’s boss. 🙂

    Heidi, Providence, RI

  4. Hi Maria!
    I can relate..If it snows even a little mine will leave the coop but won’t venture out of the run unless I have shoveled all the snow and toss some yummy leavings on the ground and call to them. Once I do that they seem to snap out of their spell and they will go out daily. But when we get the next weather event I have to do it again. They will go out in the cold but they move in slow motion if its 2 degrees out! Its kind of weird! I think the only reason they even come out of the coop is because there are a lot of them now! It gets crowded in there and they get on each others ducks began living with them but they dont’ head into the coop at night they bed down in the run on warm shavings. I have NO idea why the ducks moved in! They are so fun! Thanks for writing about them!

    1. You see Anne you have Zombie chickens too moving in slow motion. That’s too weird! You are really good to your chickens to shovel them out like you do.

  5. I read this to Sam, he was very hopeful for more zombie details, we agreed your hens are pretty and faring well. I just cleaned my coop out this weekend, lots and lots of stalagtite poops – much sitting around, sleeping and eating with my chickens as well. This is certainly the winter for cabin fever, you’re so right about keeping active and getting fresh air.

  6. I can’t resist laughing out loud at the idea of ‘cabin-fevered zombie hens.’ I have visions of crazed looking chickens wielding whatever they can grab, swarming all over.. you have to do a pillow or wall hanging with this idea- and I would buy it!This made my snowy day!!

  7. The image of you clucking outside the hen house is so funny. I think you are very wise – most children need to be “kicked out”… My Mother-in-law says every winter day she made her four boys go outside no matter the weather to “blow the stink off”… (they lived in Chicago 🙂

  8. Zombie chickens!! Love that!! If you make ANYTHING at all with Zombie chickens, please put me on the list Maria 🙂

  9. This made me chuckle when I read it,I love the concept of zombie hens, I will never be creeped out by zombies again. What a great Halloween costum?.

  10. I’m totally in agreement with you Maria. That winter inertia can set in with animals and people alike! It is so annoying to witness. I’d have scooted their butts out of that coop too. I’d be worrying about their mental health! Can too much coop time cause brain damage or irrational behavior? Oh Lord.What are they thinking in there?
    We’re not obsessed. Just brainstorming. And most importantly, making ourselves happy!

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