Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Day After

Things were rather uneasy here today, and despite the heat and blowing wind, quite a few birds hung out inside during the day.  I did water a second time at 1, and then again this evening... it was so hot.
As I sat in the pasture filling the bin of water.... everyone hung close to me...

You can really see Annabelle's new feathers coming in in this picture, especially on her sides, rear, and her chest.
I was on the phone with Keith when I saw this guy come down out of the maple tree, and come across to the side deck, where he proceeded to go under, to get out of the heat, I'm sure.
Then, as I checked the big henhouse one last time at dusk... this fella was in there looking around for mice (I hope) because gosh knows I am not getting ANY eggs.  I'll be lucky to have three dozen between the owl attacks, the snakes, the heat... the moult.
The owl appears to be a great horned.... I'm hoping to get it on the game camera.  Last night we forcibly put the turkeys in the big henhouse... Jackson will go in willingly, he wanders in and out during the day... the Turkettes had to be lifted in.  Tonight, Jackson flew up to the top of the gate to the big henyard before Keith got here... and we could not get him down.  I'm praying the owl will not visit him tonight.. nothing would convince him or Clara to go into the little henyard, (where they normally sleep) though Annabelle went right in and up onto her doghouse - roost.  Keith, however, lifted her down, and she and Clara are in the four x four pen tonight with the pullets, locked up where the owl can't find them.
I did a little research, and Great Horned owls will attack full-grown turkeys.  I would absolutely hate to lose Jackson, I just went out there at 10:30 and he was still awake and looking around on his gate. 
I'm hoping we can get a small shed to put in the pasture, where I can lock them up by themselves nightly, away from the chickens and away from predators, the four legged AND the winged kind.
Several people commented a few days ago about burying the wire for the new henyard.  The wire IS buried for the old henyards, but this chain link is in the garden, within our yard.  Lilly, who would kill every chicken she could get to.... is also the best protection the chickens have.  She will prevent any critters from getting near them, but just to be sure, Keith and I are going to wrap the inside of the chain link with poultry wire as a second defense, and we will hang netting from the top... we'll show pictures soon of the ingenious way that Keith has created to do it.  We'll also put four x fours at the bottom of the wire, clear around it, if we need to.
Gratuitous picture of pug cuteness, Gertie Lou.


  1. Oh how I wish I could remember whose blog I read last week with pictures of a rat snake that had been in their hen house. They had used golf balls in their nest boxes and the snake had eaten 6 golf balls, made it a bit sluggish, LOL. The photo was hilarious, snake had 6 big bulges in it.

  2. I went back thru my blog list and found the one with the snake and golf balls .... check out Sand Flat Farm blog.

  3. I sure hope your night was uneventful! You've certainly done your best to protect your animals!! Btw...that snake is...I can't even say it. I think you need to feed it some golf balls like the above comment says. Teehee!

  4. You might want to plant some blueberry bushes or other shrubs that fruit and don't get too large in your chicken pen. They would provide shade and my chickens LOVE the berries.

    I have 8 or 10 blueberry, 2 strawberry guava and 1 pomegranite in ours.

  5. the pug is too cute!

    nice sized snake! we get a few of those around here, too - even with a chicken coop to entice them.

  6. Seriously...
    you just can't seem to catch a break around there!
    When will it begin to cool off?
    How cold does it get there?
    Hope it sends the snakes away, and gives the girls a break from the heat.
    You too!

    Smiles :)


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