Rare Eclipse in the United States
Tell the chickens the sky is not falling!
In the story Henny Penny, the hen gets hit on the head with an acorn. From there she makes it a mission to go tell the king “the sky is falling”.
On August 21, 2017 some 12 million people in the United States will see the moon come between the sun and the earth , turning the earth into dusk and causing a rapid drop in the temperature. This is the first total eclipse for the United States since the 1970’s and this one will only be visible in the USA.
Many are calling this the Great American Total Solar Eclipse where from Oregon to South Carolina for about 70 miles wide the total eclipse will be seen. Far and wide, all chicken keepers should have a serious talk with the flock to assure them the sky is not falling, it’s just The Great American Eclipse.
Here is a run down on what might be done to help keep the chickens safe:
1. The sky is not falling as Henny Penny may think, so have a discussion with your chickens concerning what is about to occur in their lives. Explain that this is a special event in the world and that although it will get dark during the day, it does not mean it’s time to retire.
2. Provide ample food and water for your birds as this may be a stressful time and generally speaking when live beings go through stress they like to eat and drink.
3. Remind your free-rangers that being aware of predators is still an issue. Because of this incredible event in history, a great many people will be off work and therefore will have their dogs possibly running free. Just because this is a huge phenomenon it would still be important to be vigilant. Other predators may be confused too and it is unknown how they will react to this special time.
4.. It will be important to note that a rapid drop in temperature will occur due to the sun being covered by the moon leaving the earth without the warmth of the sun. Remind the chickens that they may need to ruffle feathers for a short time during this brief cooling off.
5. Chickens should be reminded that they must stay on the egg-laying schedule. The brief darkness should not affect their egg production. The total eclipse should last only minutes. The very longest solar eclipse time will be 2 minutes and 38 seconds and that will be in Carbondale, Illinois.
6. It is doubtful, due to a chicken’s size that they would look into the area of the sun so glasses for chickens are probably not needed. However, for humans, NASA approved glasses should be worn. The chickens will need their keeper to be safe for future care.
7. This is an historic event and depending on where you’re located, it could be the event of the century for you. It is said that being in the “path of totality” will be an unforgettable experience.
The Chicken Matters Blogger