When I went outside just after dawn to let all the critters out of their respective bedrooms for the day, I was greeted with the sight of Charlotte’s head hanging out of the Pigloo (get it? It’s an Igloo for pigs!!!) at a most frightening angle. Convinced that she had either had or was about to have some sort of medical emergency, I ran over to the Swine Estate to assess exactly how much I needed to start freaking out. And then I heard the snoring. Since this is the first time we’ve raised pigs, I was totally unprepared for the weird, contorted ways in which they choose to sleep. Seriously, if they didn’t sound like little chainsaws while they nap, you’d swear they were dead. Apparently all that non-stop snacking really tires a pig out.
The bunnies are the same way – they tend to sleep in a furry hogpile, with ears, tails, and legs pointed every which way. The first time I saw them sleeping like that I had much the same reaction as when I saw Charlotte – I was convinced something terrible had happened. The bunnies are even more panic-inducing, though, since I’m pretty sure they don’t have actual bones, judging by how they wrap up around each other. Harvey still looks after them like a proud papa; he even shares his treats with them.
Sleeping in huge, multi-colored piles isn’t unique to the pigs and bunnies, though. The 18-young chickens manage to cram themselves into about one square foot of space every night. There are plenty of available roosting bars, but for some reason they all want to be in the same corner of the coop at once. Even outside during the day they spend most of the afternoon piled up in what I’ve started to call “the breezeway”, which is the area between the renovated chicken coop and the Bunny Mansion. Chickens don’t possess any sense of personal space; they are forever annoying poor King Julian by trying to scoot underneath him and sleep.
The chickens have been responsible for several moments of sheer panic, since it’s not uncommon to find them sprawled out in a dust pile with their heads bent back and both feet straight up in the air. I can actually hear them thinking, “Oooh, this will freak mama out!” right before they flip upside down and play dead. They even let their beaks fall open for added effect. If they had tongues, you can bet they’d be hanging out too. It’s supremely creepy when they sleep that, especially when they hold a fanned-out wing to the side.
And for today’s moment of Zen….. if you look close, you can even seen the drool.