She went to the coop first and watered the chickens.
The coop was a comfortable 48°F - warm enough to keep the eggs from freezing, but cold enough that the chickens didn't get shocked by the temperature change when they went out of the coop.
By the time she reached the chicken coop, her fit of temper was mellowing.
She stopped at the coop door and frowned.
She jerked the door open, sending frightened chickens flopping against the coop walls.
Alex handed her the basket of eggs and closed the coop door.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a cacophony of squawks and wings beating against the chicken coop walls.
It took an instant for her eyes to adjust to the dim coop interior, and then she found herself staring into the desperate eyes of a red fox.
The rest of the chickens were flogging all over the tiny coop, bouncing off the walls in a state of panic.
Carmen pulled the coop door shut and the fox snarled around the hen, backing deeper into the corner.
As Carmen glanced around the coop for something to use as a weapon, one of the chickens ricocheted off the wall and hit her head.
He grabbed the hen by the wing and headed for a sliver of light shining through the coop door.
In an instant he entered the coop and pushed Carmen back, putting himself between her and the fox.
"It looks like our Mr. Cleary flew the coop," Fred said reluctantly.
"It looks like they did a good job," he said, shutting the coop door and turning to her.
She leaned against the chicken coop and stared down at the house.
A water line had been run to the coop, and included heaters.
Even the chicken coop was visible at this elevation.
Even the old chicken coop was empty, replaced by the new one Alex had built out back.
In Java the new-born babe is placed in a hen-coop, and the mother makes a clucking noise, as if she were a hen, to attract the child's soul.