And now for something completely different…
This one struck home. Late last night, an animal dug under the chicken tractor (a mobile chicken coop), dragged out a chicken and had dinner. Most likely – not a fox but a raccoon, weasel or ermine This creature is a little too athletic for a fox. They/them crawled under the coop, climbed into the nest box up high, grabbed the chicken and dragged it out. As I knew animal predator was a risk, as I hadn’t put chicken wire on the bottom of the new coop yet – and gosh darn- it was a job I needed to take care of. So, I feel responsible. Today’s chores include moving the chickens back into their old coop to live with the peacock. Then at some point, retrofitting the chicken tractor – so that they can free range during the day.
I hate is growing up poultry, only to feed the local predator population. It is not a “good feeling”. Chickens, as long as they aren’t stressed for space are gentle creatures – and I have a real soft spot for them. Such is life on the farm. Bad things do happen.
Then there is Max the emu. He likes to cruz around while I work on Substack articles.
The horror for me this morning was that for five minutes, I thought we lost Max too. See, Max has an almost pathological need to be with us or the dogs (guineas and chickens won’t do). Last night, Max went into the laundry room as usual, when we got home – with towels on the floor so he doesn’t slip and a baby gate. Well…, in his frantic desire to be with his “herd,” he jumped the baby gate (twice) and he wanted to be back outside again. So, Jill let him out for the night. He is getting to be a big bird – and holds his own with pretty much everything here on the farm.
When I discovered the pile of feathers from the presumed dead chicken this morning, I was out calling for Max. He didn’t come immediately and the sadness was overwhelming. Going in to tell Jill that not only was a chicken gone, but so was Max was painful. Luckily, she went outside – called Max with a “beep-beep-beep” – which is his echolocation call, and he came running to greet her. His usual happy, if mouthy self.
But no more outside for Max at night!
We will have to find a new night solution for Max. I think Jill intends to try introducing him to the peacock and the chickens in the big coop… So, stay tuned.
Poultry drama! It never ends…
Yeh – this is important.
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