Monday, February 3, 2014

The life of a chicken.

Would you want to be a chicken?  Even though they do have it easy, following rule #2 it is not safe.  I had another Turken die from natural causes.  Not sure what did it.  I have not lost a single chicken to predators this year yet.  Despite the fact that my chicken door quit working a week ago.  I need to remove it and bring it in so I can cut out the motor and glue in a new one.  It is on the to do list for tomorrow.  It was on for today but I decided to catch up on the blog instead, besides it was snowing and cold all day.  We have not collected a single egg for the last two weeks.  Annmarie had to go buy eggs at the store.  She was not happy about that. 

I don't know if they are just not laying due to predator harassment, nonfunctioning chicken door, weather changes or just finished molting, all are possibilities.  Another thing could be we have an egg eater.  Since we are not finding the shells in the coop it would have to be an animal that can haul off the eggs.  We had a feral outside cat that did that for a while a few years ago.  I don't know.  This is very frustrating.  The plan is to fix the chicken door and make sure it functions properly for a few days.  Then plug the heat lamp back in and fill the five gallon drip waterer full of water with the heat lamp warming it so it doesn't freeze.  I will secure the entire perimeter fence so no chicken can get in or out.  This will only work after I fix the hole in the back of the chicken yard fence that the sheep ripped out during the summer by getting stuck and throwing themselves at the fence.  I would like to keep the chickens penned up for a week.  We can then see if anyone is laying eggs.  Annmarie also suggested I move the chicken camera inside to point at the nesting box entrances so I can see if something is sneaking in.  It has infrared lights on it so I would even be able to see in the dark!  I will try the easy stuff first then go to the camera.  We have to view the camera footage on the computer manually.  It just takes time. 

Annmarie told me eggs are going for $4/doz farm raised and when I was at Safeway over the weekend they had a sign up saying they were out due to a shortage.  So maybe it is not just my chickens...