When one works as hard as we all do all week long, Saturday and/or Sunday mornings present a rare opportunity to sleep in (at least ’til 8). If you have chickens, however, you must make arrangements to ensure your morning (and that of your neighbors) is quiet.
When I first brought my flock home, I wasn’t used to this possibility. They simply made noise all the time–as you remember from my earliest blog posts–but now that they’ve settled in, they have become dependent upon routine. Sunrise=food and a brief human visit. Sunset=food and another human visit. Somewhere in between=free-range time, and maybe a worm or cockroach treat. Routine, for chickens, is king.
Even though I’m a notoriously early riser (and early-to-bedder), there is a rare occasion when events allow me to sleep a bit later on a rare weekend morning. How do I do this? Simple: by lying and cheating.
The evening prior to said sleep-in, I prepare. When the flock goes up to roost, after they work out the hierarchy of who will be on which level of the roost for the night, after the feather-fluffing and pecking order is established, I spring into action.
Stealthily, I emerge from the house carrying a bowlful of chicken-worthy morning treats out to the run. (Much like a mom and dad preparing a child’s Christmas presents for ultra-secret placement under the tree.) Sneak out, scatter the loot, and don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.
It’s like magic: when they rise in the morning, their tiny little pea-sized chicken brains focus singularly on the plentiful bounty that you’ve placed before them. The rolled oats and sweet grains and chopped alfalfa are sure to keep them distracted for at least one or two hours past daybreak–just enough time for you to enjoy a few extended moments of exquisite shut-eye in your feathery comforter until you deem it necessary to visit your flock with a fresh cup of joe.
I wish that all chicken owners knew this secret to weekend happiness. Now that I have gleaned the knowledge, I will utilize it when I need a few extra hours of time with St. Mattress. There is a way to cheat the chickens. Thank you, Chicken gods.