Saving the farm

It sounds a bit more dramatic than what it truly means however, to prevent the past re-run we are in an all out effort to save the farm. Last spring and early summer we lost five ducks and at least nine chickens due to animal attacks. After a mink was hit on the road the attacks came to a standstill so we believe that some of the blame can be placed there. In other cases, whole birds just disappeared. The result of an owl or hawk? Hard to say. I can express our dismay as each animal disappeared.

Yesterday morning I went out early to take care some pending outdoor to-do’s. I noticed a rooster crowing in the background but from the southeast where there are no farms. When I approached the sheds and barnyard area I realized our mature rooster was missing. I called my hubby to set out on a hike to the timber. He was unable to hear the rooster and instead came to the pasture where he found the rooster, Willie, beheaded. Not a huge loss to our breeding program but Pickle had planned to sell him this coming weekend to payoff a feed debt to his parents (my mini-van fund is awaiting payment).

The beheading led to a head count of the barnyard which stopped promptly when we found one of our oldest hens, age seven, dead on her nest. Fortunately, it appeared as though she had died of natural causes or old age. We then came upon one of our Buff Orpington Hens who was crouched in a corner. After checking her over we found that she too, had been attacked.

Putter has lovingly named her Stella as she awaits healing in our sick pen. The teeth of the attacker are evident in

A chicken, most likely a Buff Orpington, in th...

Buff’s are so docile and make sweet chickens for kids to be around!

on location and luckily both locations are free from puncture wounds. The goal is to keep her free of flies who like to lay their eggs on wounded chickens. Once their eggs hatch its very difficult to nurse the animal back to health. Today both spots look as those they are drying up nicely and I think for now, we’ve avoided any flies.

This event has led us to discover our Buff Orpington, who should be laying a light brown/peach colored egg is actually laying BLUE/GREEN eggs!! If she were an animal we had hatched here at our farm it could be explained as we do have a couple of Ameracana cross-breeds – well known for their bluish/green eggs. However, she was purchased from a local farm store two years ago. It has enticed us to locked each of our laying hens up to see who is laying the different types of eggs. So once she is healthy enough to join the others and we’ve checked all of the fencing, we plan to ‘test’ each hen and tag appropriately.

As with most things at The Magic FarmHouse, it was a very interesting find! I’m very curious if anyone has had a similar experience??!! Or, for that matter an explanation! Stay away pesky animals!

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