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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Peek-a-boo

While I was gone from blogging, we lost our first rooster. We didn't lose him as in, where did he go? We found him headless in the run. What we think happened is that something had gone after a hen, and the rooster chased it down until he couldn't be ignored anymore. Roosters tend to be left alone as they put up a good fight, as my oldest son had discovered.
He wants to kill you boy

As mean as he was, we will remember him fondly. Like the time I was cleaning the barn and he flew down from the rafters to spur my head. And the scars left on my husband's calve from the time the rooster sneaked up behind him, and spurred him multiple times before my husband could escape. And the time we trimmed his spurs. Oh, he did keep us on our toes. But he was one of the first {we ate his brother} and that has landed him a spot in our hearts. Needless to say I was a little ticked. We are now searching and cleaning the barn to see if the culprit is living in there. We will be rid of it.

One of the hens that our neighbor gave us as a replacement for all the birds his buddy's dog killed, went missing. We assumed the same fate befell her. As my husband worked in the barn yesterday, he saw tail feathers sticking out of a box that was up high. He reached up to pull the dead bird out, when it attacked him. The missing hen was alive and well. My husband came into the house where I was working to enquire if I had let the blue banny out of the run. Recently we fortified the run, nothing gets in and nothing gets out unless we say. Al the hens and teen hicks are residing there.

I informed my husband that no, I did not let any one leave. We went to the run and while I distracted the teens, My husband looked in the coop to see if the banny was in there. We must distract the teens. They tend to flock at your feet and there is no escaping them. It is hard to keep them from getting out the coop door, you have to scoop and slam, hoping you didn't catch any feet. I digress, The banny was indeed inside of the coop. I asked my husband to show me the bird he found, excited that I had one more hen then I thought.

He carefully pulled the box down. I could see the hen's tail feather spread, and heard the unmistakable growl of a truly angry hen. She was definitely hiding in the box. I had to see if she had eggs or chicks. I reached down and was immediately peeked, several times. My husband giggling in encouragement. I got a hold of her a last and lifted her up enough to confirm eggs. We brought her in the house so that she may brood in quiet and warmth. The temperatures have been close to freezing at night, and she was no where near the heat lamps. She doesn't have a lamp in the rabbit hutch, but at least it is warmer in here, then out there.

Hide and seek

I doubt the egg will hatch, as I believe they are pullet eggs. But I do not want to dissuade her from brooding. It is quality that this homesteader likes in a hen. So many birds have had that instinct bred out of them as it is not beneficial to the mass egg producers.

9 comments:

Gina said...

I encourage the broody thing too. I've actually had more luck with chicks when I let the chickens do their natural thing than the mail order ones (as far as survival rates go anyway-I've had close to 100% survival with the hen raised chicks and probably only 75% with mail order/feed store chicks). We recently had a huge clutch of eight chicks for one hen hatch; fortunately, the other hens have been acting as nannies. The chicks are now almost full grown!

Stephanie said...

When we were losing all our chicks (it was raccoons btw) I read that the raccoons will eat the head off an adult chicken, but take the chicks. Maybe you have a coon?

Phelan said...

good to know gina, thank you.

Steohnaie, skinks do it as well. We have more of them then the 'coons.

lisa said...

Did you mean skunks? I hope so, because I have skinks (small lizards), and I never heard of them killing birds. Glad your hen was just hiding and not gone, but sad to hear about the rooster. I had a leghorn rooster as a kid, and Chauncy was so mean I loved him to bits! (Mostly because he hated my sister :)

Marta said...

Sorry about your rooster. A

alrescate said...

Too bad about the rooster but I'm glad you have a broody hen.

Celeste said...

I am thinking skunk or coon. they both take the head off.

Phelan said...

Lisa, I meant skinks, you should see them out here. They are huge! ;)

The Duck Herder said...

poor rooster :o(

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