Each morning once the sky starts to color up, I go release the chickens from their coop. And each morning they squabble to see which one can get out first in case I have brought them a treat. Not a one even poked her head out the pop door this morning-it was the first time 5 of them had seen snow, and they had no intention of checking it out.
Chickens are curious about food. There was food and fresh water in the coop, none in the snow. That was all they needed to know about snow. A few minutes ago the storm broke and I looked out to see they had all emerged and congregated on top of the scrappy shed we built to shelter the electric water deicer. They must have gotten tired of being cooped up in the coop.
Novelty freaks out chickens, and when freaked out, they flock up. The sound of my rubber boots in the snow was new and thus scary. They are still on top of the hay bale, getting over it. They might stay there until dark. But this appearance of harmony and mutual support won’t last. By tomorrow, either the snow will melt or the chickens won’t remember when it wasn’t snowy, and get back to their usual posturing and pecking over food, roosting spots and other social concerns of chickens. They will adapt quickly, unless I do something mean like shake out a blue tarp in their pen. That really freaks them out.