Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chickens killer exposed (I hope)

So I spent most of the day today fencing.  I had both nephews helping me and we made great progress.  Got the gate hung and five posts in the ground with supports, a stretch of fence posts installed and the sheep wire attached for that stretch.  We had to restretch an entire section after repairing the anchor point.  I put the wire support on the top instead of the bottom and pulled the post over.  So great progress was made on the fencing front.

I also had to let the baby chickens out of their enclosure today.  They were out of water and they are almost the same size as my adult chickens.  We had been leaving them in there because it was predator proof.  When I went to lock up the chickens tonight all the "babies" were back in their area all cuddled up together.

Important news flash, I may have found my chicken killer, as I was typing this Annmarie and I heard a loud chicken squawk.  I grabbed my predator killer outfit (flashlight and Walther p22 with laser sights), almost opted for the pistol grip shotgun, but I stuck with old tried and true.  I had to battle our chocolate lab at the door, she wanted to run out and protect the chicken, but I couldn't randomly throw lead in the air with her running around outside, so I opted for quantity over quality and kept the dog inside.  Now mind you, I had just come in from locking the chickens up in the coop.  But we have one chicken, Puff, a Polish hen who has decided the coop is not safe (not a bad assumption) and is now sleeping in the top of the bushes.  Well her daughter started sleeping outside a few days ago also.  We thought it was Puff throwing the squawking fit.  I ran all around outside in my best imitation of a cop in hostile territory.  No predator.  I was coming back in the house when Annmarie started talking to me from the upstairs open bedroom window.  I went over and found Puff sitting alone in the bushes.  Her daughter was missing.  One more pass of the yard with my flashlight and I found her dead over by the fence with our smallest adult female cat next to her.  I took a shot, but am unsure if I got the cat or not.  I did recognize it, so it is dead now even if it doesn't know it.  It will have killed about $200 worth of adult chickens and another $620 in lost income from eggs from those now deceased chickens.  It violated our cardinal rule "live and let live" along with "everyone gets along or else".  It is just practical, I realize it sounds kinda cold, but I am out $820 already and cannot afford to have any more chickens killed.

On top of all that, I think one of my chickens has a prolapsed egg duct and may very well die in the next couple of days.  I noticed it when I was counting the hens the first time I was outside.  So now I have 19 females but in a couple more days I may only have 18.  This sucks.  I actually do like the chickens and animals on the farm.   We sat at the lunch table today (during lunch) and discussed genetics for the sheep and which ram to keep and whether to let one of the new baby boys become our breeder.  On our way to swim team we discussed our cut and wrap options and which sheep to have slaughtered.  As soon as we got home tonight we caught the baby lambs and petted on them.  They are the cutest little buggers.  Life on a farm, is very practical.  If you are not practical you cannot survive.

Good night.