Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | November 6, 2007

Chicken Update

 youngrooster2.jpg

a young rooster in Oct. 

It’s been requested to update on the chicken situation

Well, from what we know a weasel decided to kill a large portion of our new chickens.  He managed to get into the pen that held our youngest ones … they ranged in age from 3-4 months.  There were 6 hens and one rooster that survived and one more rooster that survived the attack but barely and so he needed to be butchered.  Loren took care of the butchering with our friend Martha who came to visit.  She is a real trooper and while I stayed in the house, she helped Loren.  I am only a farm-wife in training remember?, so don’t be too hard on me.   :)  If I would have HAD to help, I would have done so.  

We are pretty sure that our previous chicken incident didn’t involve a weasel like we thought, but rather a mink.  The animal that was after those chickens ate them one at a time and we have learned that a weasel won’t necessarily eat the chickens, they mostly want the blood from the chickens which would explain why they kill them all, or at least close to all of them in our particular case.  

In my new farm-girl opinion it is all pretty yucky.  I know that it is farm life and I understand that but I won’t ever agree that it is pleasant.  

I was thinking about our poor chickens on Sunday and I realized that they have had a pretty tough summer … remember the hawk? Those poor chickens were scared for days.   The combination of hawks, minks, and weasels, I would say that our poor chickens need a break! 

For now though, they are all safe and sound … we can only hope that they will stay that way. 

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Responses

  1. Have you considered a working farm dog? My farmcollies keep hawks, falcons, turkey vultures and eagles away from my turkeys, ducks and chickens when they’re on pasture during the day. If I had a predator in the hen house I could leave one of the dogs in there at night to protect the birds. They grab things like minks by the back of the neck, shake them a couple of times and snap the neck, killing them instantly. I spend less in dog food than it would cost me to replace my birds.

    This is Maggie: http://seasonseatingsfarm.com/maggie.jpg She’s an excellent working dog and a wonderful pet.

  2. What a loss for you guys. I am sorry to hear about this but predators are difficult to deal with. I know we too have weasels but apparently they can’t get into the coop or they would have done so by now. I did lose a hen to one long ago. She was raising some chicks in the barn. Just like you say they kill them and leave the bodies.

  3. I checked out Maggie’s photo and she’s a beautiful girl! I saw a news story about an author turned farmer who got a border collie with behavorial problems who just needed a job to do. So this guy moved from New York City to a small farm and ended up raising goats, sheep, chickens and donkeys. He now has 3 border collies working happily and he’s also enjoying life and writing books about his dogs. Anyway, it sounds like a great idea.:) When we had our dairy cows, a few chickens, and a pig or two we had a beagle mix who did no work, but loved to roam the woods. He would point out partridge or pheasant and then flush them, though none of us was toting a gun.

  4. OK, I SHOULD have said when my family had the farm. Everyone knows by now that Stephanie was raised in town!

  5. Robin … thanks for the advice. We have considered a farm dog but haven’t figured out when we will be able to train one and which breed would be the best fit. After this week it is going to have to be a priority. So collies must be good with birds and protective … how are they with baby chicks? Do you have any experience with that? Oh, and Maggie is adorable.


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