The weather has turned nasty and apparently it is my fault. The chickens tell me this every time I go out to feed, water, or collect eggs. They are particularly upset about the 2 inches of snow that fell Monday and Tuesday this week. They don't like rain and are uncomfortable in the wind, but the snow is unbearable and therefore they must complain about it constantly if I am within earshot.
The chickens are pretty funny to watch in the snow. Normally, the chickens will meet me at the back door regardless of the weather but not if there is snow on the ground. Instead, they will stand pathetically just inside or outside their covered run and make jungle bird calls as I approach. Even the effort of stepping three feet to their feeder is to much if there is snow on the ground.
Once I have shovelled a path between the porch and their run they will slowly venture up towards the house, especially if they see me doing something in the mud room. If by chance one of them should wander off the path and into loose snow they will freeze, squawk, and begin flapping their wings in vain attempts to fly out of the situation. I'm not talking about huge snow drifts. A layer of loose snow only an inch or so deep will cause this reaction.
Of course the complaining is only part of it. Chickens are quite adept at withholding their affections and their eggs if they feel their needs are not being taken seriously. I must be diligent in my duties of feeding, watering, and especially path clearing or I will hear no end of grief from these spoilt, feathered beasties. Just another way chickens remind me of cats.