As you know by now we have been raising 12 chicks, 7 black stars and 5 red sex links. Well, what I may not have mentioned was not long after getting the chicks we bought 2 red sex link pullets so that we could have some of our own fresh eggs right away.
2 of the chicks have turned out to be roosters and not hens. Yes, 2! I know I had mentioned the one, but now we are sure that we have 2. One black rooster and one red rooster. Leaving us 12 able little hens to lay us eggs.
Because we live in an isolated area without traffic or close neighbors we allow the chickens to "free range"/wander at will. A couple of weeks ago, we aren't sure what the culprit was, but something took one of the chickens. Checking over the flock showed we were down a pullet hen. It was a sad day!!
Mike went right to work trying to trap the heathen animal that may have done the deed. No luck! However, silver lining in the story, a few of the chicks decided they were old enough and begin to laying their own eggs. Giving us roughly 5-6 eggs a day now.
This morning while the kids and I were starting our morning routine we heard a LOUD cackle from the woods! Jacob and I went off to investigate. I scared off a Coopers Hawk, but didn't hear or see any sign of the injured hen. No wonder the traps weren't yielding the beast!
My son was a young man on a mission. He grabbed his gun and waited to see if the villain would return. Just as he was about to give up, and had returned to the house. Again another LOUD cackle. What? She was still alive? He ran over yelling, scared off the hawk once again, and set to work trying to find the little frightened hen. He even took the hunting dog out on a leash to aid him. After a good hour of searching he turned up nothing. We continued on our day figuring we were now down to 10 hens and 2 roosters. Counting up the remaining chickens showed we had lost a black one.
One of the things you do as a chicken owner, who has free range chickens, you find yourself counting little hen heads to be sure they are all still accounted for. On a day that one has been compromised this happens several time in the day.
So this afternoon on one of my many head counts in the day much to my chagrin... I find 13!! What? 13? I count again, and again, and again. Yes! 13! The same number we had when first arising this morning? Not possible!! But, there she was the black one we thought we had lost. Her feathers a little ruffled on the belly, but just fine otherwise. I AM so Happy!
It is these little things I know most people must scratch their heads at and think, "She really needs to get a life." But, this is my life, and I love it!
I suspect this won't be the end of our dilemma or run in with the dreaded hawk, but for now we have evaded any loss.