Tuesday, November 5, 2013

:: Not Our Year for the Birds ::


I know this just looks scary. But…this IS NORMAL… really.  This is our ‘Copper Necked Maran’  “Jayne”

She is one of the first 2 hens we ever got.  We lost her counter part, “Audrey”… I think in February

Jayne molting

This is Jayne’s first BIG MOLT since we’ve had her.  She’s lost feathers before, but not like this.  She looks bad, but the feathers are already coming back.  She is much improved. Mark my words.

Bashful “ Lucy”—a Rhode Island Red.

Lucy at the Crepe Myrtle

She came to live with us when we got “George” our rooster- She has never let me pick her up or hold her much. She has always kept to herself.  That has played out well for her.  She is second in command now – after “Jayne”—as far as pecking order goes. 

Let’s see… these are what’s left of our guineas.  I think we have 2 males and 2 females.  One male is quite large…and it wasn’t until recently that I started noticing that one of the others might be a male.  He gets ‘the boot’ from the bigger Male… and he gets run out…quite a bit.

guineas finding worms

We started out with 10 guineas.  We bought them to help keep down the grasshoppers.  Once they got big enough—Oh my!  Voracious Grasshopper Eaters.

So yeah, we started out with 10—lost 2 to heat exposure, when they were quite small. Found 1 … in the Chi-Weenies mouth (not sure where it came from…the back field somewhere). It probably came through the back field from another neighbors flock.  We nursed it back to health. Then we had 9!

Over night sometime in August—we lost 3; and were down to 6!  We think these were lost to COYOTES. 

Lost one the night that Vince was born—not sure what happened there. No signs of distress in the yard. (meaning no feathers, no carcass…) Then we noticed a large prey bird hanging around.  Red-tailed Hawk and we also know we have an Owl that lives in a nearby pasture.  We lost one more and now were down to 4 guineas.

These are NUGGETS.  The brown ones—from the first batch.  All but these 2 went into our freezer.

finding worms

The white Nugget?  One. Lucky. Chicken.  We were going to put this bunch of 6 white chickens in the freezer this year. But alas—5 of them fed the wild life—OR Buster.

 friday oct4 039

You remember Buster, right?  Turns out he was a chicken eater.  He hasn’t eaten any chickens in a while. I hope he is over that… He knows it’s bad. 

But he is a dog. So he can only be trusted to resort to his most basic animal instincts… :/

So, no, it hasn’t been our year for birds. 

But you can’t say we haven’t done our part in helping to preserve the wild life around here.

Have you had issues with predators on  your flock? Are you taking special measures to prevent this sort of thing?  Is it just something to be expected? 

I tell you, it can be quite frustrating.



"Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season will reap if we faint not."
~Galatians 6:9


Melanie said...

There are no guarantees about keeping chickens. Mine are penned up. I let them loose during the day, when there are no workers here, and at night they are always in their pen. There has still been a couple of problems. One morning our Dominicker was in front of the gate. It looked as if something had tried to pull her through the fence. Probably a racoon. We put hardware cloth over the gate, it has helped for now. Predators will get them if that is their intention no matter what you do. We heard a commotion last night and went out there, must have scared whatever it was off. We have a hawk that I watch closely and don't let them out when it is close by. Loss just seems to be a part of it.

NanaDiana said...

Love your chickens. I can remember losing them on the farm, too. They were always penned up but still got out now and then. It is hard once a dog gets a taste of chicken chasing- I don't think they are ever cured. Hope you have a great week- xo Diana

Patty Sumner said...

I am sad to say...... I have no flock....:( One day I will... Love chickens...they just seem to have such wonderful personalities....okay, what is a chi weenie? I have never heard of that....we have lots of coyotes....hear them each evening...My lab/pitbull mix does not like them.. I have my do Max and two new kitties....Mordie and Essie....named after Mordecai and Esther of the Old Testament...Thats it for me... Have a great one.. Blessings!

Maureen Wyatt said...

I had problems with raccoons and had to roof in my run. When I'm home, they run the whole yard but have to be penned when I'm away from home. The coop locks up nice and secure for night so I haven't lost any chickens to predators yet. All my birds went into a full moult this fall and I haven't had an egg in 2 wks. from them.

Cecilia said...

I really want some chickens but I know I'll have to have a good coop to put them in at night. So, someday when we move to the farm, chickens will be added! Love yours, they are pretty birds.

Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh I am so sorry but alas that is raising chickens. Have not lost one yet but our situation is so different with the small city yard and predators are so much fewer though it can happen. I lock them up at night to try and keep them safe.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

This was so interesting, I am a city girl and I think this raising and losing chicken thing would break my heart. My praise to you, for trying to keep them safe.


Sherry at The Rusty Pearl said...

Love your post and Were living thru you SISTER !!! LOVE IT . and the scripture at the end I smiled

The Paisley Butterfly said...

Love the bible verse. Really brought something to light for me :)

My Repurposed Life said...

how how frustrating... love that picture of Lucy, and Buster! I watched a movie recently about a boy and his grandpa living in the woods (swamp?) he found a dog, it was a besenji (sp?) the boy tried to teach the dog to hunt birds, but it was a rat dog. When the dog caught a rat, the boy tied it to the dog's neck for a day. yuck! I guess that's the way things were done, or may still be done. :(
I'm happy that you understand that dogs will be dogs....even though it's so sad that he is a chicken dog.
now I'm rambling....

Art and Sand said...

I did not know that dogs ate chickens.

Audrey said...

I have thought I would love to have some chickens ... but they sound like a lot of trouble to keep.
I love hearing about yours though.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures