Thursday, October 4, 2012

Feathers Tell the Story

Last Friday night, Keith and I tried to catch two young birds roosting in the tree that I trimmed this week... and they beat us with their wings and got away.  Even though we were laughing, we were perplexed, because frankly, it's unpleasant being beaten and scratched, and even though we had the spotlight, we could not find the birds anywhere in the henyard.  Finally, we went over to this:
This, my friends, is the "gate" to the pasture from the henyards.  Pretty feeble, huh?
When we looked at it that night, it was obvious that the two missing hens had pushed against the south side of it, and managed to push it far enough open that they could slip through into the pasture.  Keith and I shook our heads.... he shone the very bright spotlight all around, but we saw nothing.  The hens were black, by the way.
I try to keep it bungee-corded very tightly, so the fox can't push in.  Ha Ha.
So yesterday I saw this while I out doing water:
She was on the pad that Keith created four years ago for a barn, which has not been built.  You can't really tell, but there is a TOWERING horrible weed to her left that I am going to have to dig out, full of thorns.  I always try to find them and dig them out, and missed this one this year.  This would not be remarkable, but every bird was in, and it was just a blessing that I turned around and saw Tiny.  I had already barred the door, or bungeed it, as it were.
So she saw me and ran over and ran in the gate, which I had opened for her.
I walked over to see if she had laid an egg in the high grass, because despite being four, she is still laying. 
Here's what I saw when I got there.
(I'm stylin' in my tennies)
First thing I thought was "Uh oh".
It was easy to follow the trail where she fought.  There were four big clumps, and finally, skin pulled away with some of the feathers.  I'm sure the fox had a good dinner that night.
I counted 8 pullets and Legs Diamond today, where once there were eleven.  The other "lost" bird could have been in the henhouse, as it is cold out there with a brisk breeze growing, and a lot of the big and little birds were hunkered down early, but it is much easier to count now that the branches are out of the way, and I threw some bread to them to get a count.   We knew pretty much on Friday we wouldn't see them again.
This will be a non-issue once everyone is moved over to the new henhouse.  The free-rangers are going to be sorry, but the elderly birds will soon be back in their newly-refurbished digs.
It's 52 degrees F. out there right now, but a breeze is blowing, making it feel cooler.  I had to wear a hoodie while I cut along the road and cut in the garden, weeds are still growing.  We were supposed to have a bit of rain today, and there is heavy cloud cover, but so far, nothing.  I am trying to spiff the place up because this weekend is the Kaw Valley Farm Tour, and my neighbor Roxanne of Screamin' Oaks Dairy will be welcoming agri-tourists for the weekend.  I like to have our yard looking presentable for the visitors who only come this way once a year, and I plan to be down helping Roxanne with her visitors over the weekend.  

1 comment:

  1. I know you'll be glad when all are settled into the new pen.


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