Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Hard Week to Be a Bird

I don't know if it is because of the warmer weather or what but this last week has been a tough one for the birds that we raise on our place. We do allow our birds to truly free range during daylight hours which carries its own inherent risks of course. But to lose 4 birds in a little over a week's time is a bit of a heart break.
First off we had one of our Toulouse geese just "disappear". Usually there is some feathers or something to mark the crime scene but this time there was nothing. We came up with a theory that she may have been plucked out of the pond by either a bald eagle or great-horned owl. A couple of days later out theory was disproved right before our eyes when a coyote grabbed our other Toulouse goose and spirited it away before my husband could get his hands on a gun to get a shot at the predator.

Luckily the following morning, I just happened to look out the window to see a coyote stalking some wild ducks in our pond. My husband had no problem getting the animal this time around but when he shot it, I noticed another coyote running away in the distance. Most likely a mated pair.
Not to be outdone by the goose tragedy, I lost 2 of my chickens. One shortly after the first goose disappeared. This time around there was the telltale signs of the abduction...a pile of buff-colored feathers. It was one of my younger pullets that I had hatched on my incubator test run.

A few days after the coyote was dispatched I lost one of my precious cuckcoo marans that I hatched from eggs that I had shipped from Ohio. Oh, and did I mention is was one of only three pullets that I got from my twelve eggs? This time it was the neighbor's dog who was the perp. It was strange because this dog has come here before and showed zero interest in the birds running around. But being that the marans are so young I think they made an easy, irresistable target.

Can't blame the dog or my neighbor too much. The dog was being a dog and the chicken was being an easy meal. The dog brought the chicken home and my neighbor called saying he thought his dog killed one of my birds. I appreciate his honesty, some folks would not have called us and he paid me what the birds go for on Craigs List.


  1. Oh my goodness Carolyn! Such tragedy and violence! I'm sorry for your poor birds! Maybe now you should get yourselves a guard dog, or teach the chickens kung fu!!

  2. Hi Rachael,
    I'm think of getting a dog.
    We had another chicken not show up to roost last night and she knew kung fu! ;)