Winter coop decorating happened on the last nice, warmish day we had in my neck of the woods so I took advantage and did a little outdoor decorating. This is the only place that remotely resembles Christmas decorating since I used a wreath I had in storage that was already adorned with a red and black buffalo-checked ribbon.
I wasn’t about to change it so red it is on the coop. All the pine branches you see are real. I took a stroll around the property and clipped branches from several pine trees that are in the fencerows. Luckily the soil in the stock tank was firm but not frozen so I was able to poke the branches into the dirt to secure them in place.
After I got the wreath up I decided I needed to take all the birdhouses down that are scattered on the outside of the siding; it just looked to cluttered. I know the birds won’t use them again until spring so I took them down and stored them in the shed for the winter.
I did tie the wreath down from the bottom and the top of the window so it wouldn’t swing when the wind blows. My fear was it would disrupt the birds in the night and give them anxiety thinking something was trying to get into the coop. As you can see there are tiny feet prints on the siding under the wreath where a raccoon has tried to find a way into the coop.
Of course, nothing can be done outside without the ring leader Houdini (she is the turkey in the second photo) getting involved. I had to use a small step ladder to hang the wreath and take down the siding clips that the birdhouses attach to. Every time I took down a clip and put it in my pocket Houdini pickpocketed me and pulled them out one by one. I purposely need to keep track of them so I can use them again next year. (You can read more about the pickpocket turkey here).
Houdini got the others involved too. All the chickens and turkeys gathered around and had to investigate what was going on. Houdini is too big to fly and couldn’t get up in the stock tank but the younger turkeys had no trouble doing the investigation for her.
It’s really hard to keep pretty planters outside with a flock. They think every planter filled with dirt is a dusting spot and if there’s anything growing they’ll pick it to death. I’m pretty sure they’ll nest in the pine branches and before long they’ll be smashed down as well.
Oh well, I enjoy watching the critters roam and like the fresh eggs they give me. The two gray chickens (only one in the photos) are neamed “Thing 1” and Thing 2”. I call them my chicken nuggets. They are light as a feather and also have quirky personalities. Not nearly as quirky as Houdini but unique in their own way. Did you notice they have fancy feathers on their feet?
And not to be outdone by Houdini, our coop cat Sox had to get into the mix as well. You can read all about him below and yes he is another unique critter. I have no idea why I attract the type of animals that I do but if they are different they seem to be making the cabin their home.
Meet Sox: She’s our stop, drop, and roll coop cat! Early Spring a black cat arrived and took up residence under our chicken coop. As the days went on the black cat became fluffy and I knew right away she was going to have kittens. Since that black cat has been named Mama Kitty and Sox is one from her litter. She had 4 kittens but only two are still residing at the cabin. The rest have either wandered off or a predator got them.
Of course, these cats aren’t tame. It’s taken me the last 5 months trying to get them to trust me (feeding them helped). Sox is the friendliest, he follows me everywhere I go and for some reason, he runs out ahead of me and does his routine of stop, drop, and roll. I have no idea what that’s all about but it seems to be the way he walks.
Just lately he lets me pet him one stroke down his back and then he’s done. I have managed to coax him into the house. He comes in the back door snoops around for a couple of minutes and then goes back out. I make sure the door is open so he knows he can leave whenever he’s ready. I think with more time I can get him to cozy up to me. We will see!