Turkey Tracks: Chicken Stuck in Snow

Turkey Tracks:  March 8, 2015

Chicken Stuck in Snow

Today dawned to be beautiful.  Warm and sunny.  Warm for Maine that is.

It was warm enough for the chickens to agree to come out of their cage/coop.

We are all feeling the rising sap and energy of SPRING, even though the snow pack out here is still about four feet thick.

I dug out the flap to the chicken coop, propped open the coop roof, and out they came to eat the mealy worm and sunflower seed treats.

Back inside, while eating my breakfast and making plans for a run up to Belfast, I saw that the rooster and a few of the hens were up on the upper porch.

When I got back from Belfast, I checked on the flock.

Here’s what I saw up on the hill:


I called, and she craned her head, but did not move.

Here’s a closer view:


Something had spooked her, and she had flown up into the snow pack and gotten herself stuck.

There was nothing to do but go get her.

She is fully exposed and a “sitting duck” chicken waiting for a predator.

Out came the snow shoes:


I had to fit them to the larger boots I got just before John died.  I figured it out.  Thank heavens I have a good pair.  They were a birthday gift from John in 2004 when we knew we were moving to Maine.


The chickens, as always, milled about, trying to help.


(The turkeys have spread the old chicken bedding out over the banks and paths.)

I got to her, after working my way around the large white pine.  I was able to take advantage of the paths the turkeys and the dogs have made in the snow.  And, yes, sister Susan, I took my cell phone.

I poked her with the long end of the ski pole, and she didn’t move.  Yep.   Her feet were stuck.  I climbed the hill to her and picked her up.  She was limp and scared and probably somewhat dehydrated.

She could not walk when I put her on the turkey/dog path–and by this time the rest of the flock had followed me.

Were her feet just numb, or were they frozen or badly frost bitten.  Hens do have a way of going limp when they are scared.

I have no idea how long she had been stuck.

I carried her under my arm back the way I came and put her through the flap to the coop.  She ducked inside, so she could walk.

But, as I stopped at the edge of the porch to take off the snow shoes (they have wicked grippers on the bottom), I saw that she had followed me and that her feet were turning a dark red…

…so I don’t know how badly she might be hurt.

Time will tell.

She was eating.


Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

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