Morning chores

So… it is just me, or has it become more difficult to get up during these darker and colder Alaska mornings? I have a fuzzy alarm clock sleeping next to me which helps, to a degree. But on some mornings, I don’t think dynamite could dislodge me from my warm and cozy flannel sheets.

Once up, the routine is: let the dogs out, feed the chickens, open the coop up, and then feed the dogs. Lately, bringing unfrozen water to the chickens has been an additional chore. (Note to self: Get the chicken waterer situation figured out today!) So, as I was bringing the clean, unfrozen waterer back in to the coop, the chickens decided to rush the door. (No doubt they began hatching this scheme once they saw me leave with the frozen waterer.) First one out was, of course, Elsa, with three more close behind. I put my arms out, then tried to grab them–but let’s face it, grabbing a chicken is like trying to grab a greased pig, especially three all at once! I started to get frustrated and then remembered I have a super power waiting just inside…


A quick walk to the house and I opened the door, called for The Chicken Herder… and off she went. I told her to round ’em up and put ’em back in. And that she did. Maybe it’s because she hadn’t had breakfast, yet, but she was a bit more, well, full of herself. I had to tell her to slow down a couple of times. But, given that we have been working on getting her herding confidence back up, I was just thrilled to see her work so enthusiastically. It may sound odd to someone who doesn’t do herding or have stock, but I’m so happy to have my enthusiastic, super fast herding dog back!
Please note–The Chicken Herder does not hurt the chickens in any way. She merely applies pressure from behind to get them to move in the desired direction. A good stockdog is worth her weight in gold!

Chores Before Snow

As today’s forecast threatens snow, I’m thrown into a near panic thinking about all the little coop and yard chores I have yet to finish. I must be a bad chicken mommy for not having attended to these chores already. But, life is what happens while you’re busy making plans.

I’ve been planning what to do with the wonderful crop of rose hips I just harvested. And what to do with the enormous amount of mint I have collected? Most likely the mint, and perhaps the rose hips, will be dried and put up for winter to be used in teas on cold winter mornings. The dried mint will come in handy in the coop bedding throughout the winter. As long as winters are up here, it’s a good thing I have so much.


I’m determined to make something yummy with with at least some of the rose hips. Eating them raw I’ve discovered they are very sweet and tasty–larger and sweeter than the wild ones I sample while hiking local trails.

But the processing of these bountiful goodies will have to be put off for today. The threat of snow has launched me into the “get ‘er done” mode. My coop could actually survive winter just fine in its current state. However, there are a few niceties that I’d like to do to help make winter more enjoyable for the girls and for me!

So, enough with the small talk. I’m off to suit up and head out into the brisk morning air and accomplish all sorts of wonderful chores. Have a great day!