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Feeling Victorian

Here on the farm We Are Not Amused.

We have now lost 3.2 chickens to hawks. The .2 is the girl that The Dude rescued from a hawk that was as big as the chicken. She seemed dead, but was breathing. He picked her up, limp, and took her into the coop where she stood up and hopped around, a huge gash in her neck. I now have a new idea for a vampire as this seems to be what the hawks do to our chickens. After rescuing her, we lost one the next afternoon at some point. There were only 15 when we went to close up the coop Sunday night. I don't know if these are our residents or if these are migrating, as some internet writings suggest. I do know that I am not encouraging the girls to go out, in fact, have left the hatch closed for entire days lately. We don't lose a chicken on those days.

It is also cold. It didn't break 30F yesterday, won't do much today. E had a doctor's appointment that took most of the day yesterday so I never made a fire. Not even in the evening because I took The Dude to Union Station in DC to catch a train to RI to arrive just before his father entered surgery in the morning. His father is now out and doing well, considering the seriousness of his condition.

So I'm fighting a dead cold in half the house with a single woodstove right now. And of course, the wood is still being uncooperative as we work our way down to the oldest parts where the wood is not beautifully split hardwood.

And my edit is calling me. But I wanted to let everyone know about the girls.

Frog Out



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update, Oz. I'd suggest move to Texas, but it's cold down here as well.
Dec. 23rd, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you are in a chicken war zone. I'm sure all of that as well as the experience of huddling by the stove will stoke you for writing those scenes when you get to them.
Dec. 23rd, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
One suggested solution is to put something across the top. We're thinking of some netting we use for the blueberries. It should give the chickens cover and at the same time make the hawk pause. One post even said they can see monofilament from a distance. This stuff is black.

Dec. 23rd, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Sounds like it's worth a try.
Dec. 23rd, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, and soap will be late, but is coming. They purchased their ingredients, but especially with this trip north, we're not sure when E and The Dude will have a production run. Which should be allowed to cure, I might add. So it's New Year's soap, I suspect. But I'm going to encourage a large batch as the house has nearly run out as well as there being special orders.
Dec. 25th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
Merry Christmas to the chickens
The chicken's Christmas present this year will be the gift of bird netting over the one end of the run.

Checked with Santa and this seems to be at the top of the chicken's list this year. And all the chickens are on the good list, not the naughty list....
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )