When I set up the shelter the day before, I thought about wind and planned to anchor the tarp properly but I hadn't gotten around to it in time. I awoke early and looked out my bedroom window to see the tarp lying on the ground a ways from the hen's cage.
I jumped up and ran outside, praying that the chicks had not frozen to death on this stormy night. As I approached the cage, Fred baulked at me with utter disgust and loathing. Her feathers were completely drenched and the water had even filled the little nesting box so that she had been forced to sit on the tallest lump of hay to keep the chicks off the ground. She was in fact as mad as a wet hen. I felt awful!
Quickly, I got a box which we usually keep garden tools in, emptied it, and lined it with hay. I then moved mother hen into the box. As I lifted her up I was pleased to find that though the three chicks were damp but alive and well. They were not soaked to the bone because mother hen had used her feathers like an umbrella and sheltered the chicks through the stormy night. I moved the three chicks into the box with their disgruntled, clucking mother and brought them all inside.
I took the box into the kitchen and set in on the dryer so the dog couldn't get in. Then I turned on a heat lamp I had bought along with the chicks just in case Fred didn't accept the orphan chicks. As the warm light filled the box, our mad wet hen stopped her constant baulking.