So, Wendy over at Surviving the Suburbs has prompted the idea to take Throwback Thursday and bring it into the blogosphere. Given that there are six meat birds going out this weekend and another 11 waiting to take over the chicken tractors, I felt it only fitting to do a Throwback Thursday post today for our original two girls, Louise and Edith. We still have Edith, the old bat that she is. Louise we lost this spring to the fox. They were $50 from a farm out in I-can’t-remember-for-the-life of me. The only thing we really had to do to the tractor was screen in the bottom, paranoid then as we were of predators and still are now.
Tag Archive for Louise
About a week ago now we lost another hen to the fox. I was out at the post office and came back to Louise, one of our oldest pet birds, gone. All that was left behind was a pile of tail and wing feathers. I’m assuming she put up one hell of a fight. Skee – another of our original three – had lost a pigeon’s worth of feathers as well.
When I found Short Beak, our only roo, he was pretty beaten up. There was blood dripping off his wattles and he was missing most of his beard. His saddle feathers were a little thinner, too. He was having a hard time standing on his own. We ended up having to pull him into the rehab clinic (read: dog kennel in basement) so that he could regain his strength. He hasn’t crowed since, though. We don’t know if we’ll keep him or not if he keeps being so quiet.
He really scared us when he didn’t eat, though. He seemed severely depressed on his own. Once we put him back in the coop, he perked up a bit though. Here’s hoping he starts yakking.
So, while I’ve already mentioned that I have seedlings going, the idea that spring is here did not fully click until I was out with the boy, dog, and ladies earlier. The season is here in all it’s glory and I am proud to say that we didn’t lack in eggs. Even with Skee’s one month protest, we still averaged eight eggs a week from Louise and Edith, our red sexlinks. Now with the warm weather and the ladies getting out every day, we’re back up to 16 – 18 eggs a week! More than what we ever thought we’d get out of the three birds.
Thanks to the handy-dandy egg scale my dad gave us (don’t know why or how he came to have one), we’ve been able to keep track of the sizes as well. For the red sexlinks, it’s the only way to tell whose egg is whose, which is super important in case calcium issues should arise. Skee, whose eggs had been mediums last winter, are now up to extra large size, just like Louise, who is ironically our smallest bird. Edith lays medium eggs pretty steadily with the occasional large.
Now we just need to stock up on egg recipes…
Back in November, around the fifth at roughly 11am, I was at the computer working on bills and heard my three free range hens start squawking up a storm. Thankfully my computer is right next to the back door. I opened up the door to yell at them (we’ve had some minor pecking issues), only to realize that one of the neighbor’s dogs were attacking them at the compost pile. I screamed a few obscenities at the dog at the top of my lungs. The dog took up over the hill, but at this point the chickens had all high tailed it into different areas of the property, which is mostly swamp and gulley.
I called the hubby and he rushed home from work. It took close to an hour and a half before all three birds were found. Thankfully, we lucked out and none were hurt. They’re in the coop for the afternoon until I can be outside with them while they’re out as the animal control officer won’t be available to talk to the owners and see if the dog has been located until this evening. She did let us know that neither dog to that address has been registered. So, even through she can’t do a thing about the attack on the birds per say, she can fine them pretty heftily for the lack of registration.
On the plus side, at least we know that all three of them know to high tail it. I’ve heard too many stories of birds that just stand there and get eaten. But on that same note, it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t. I kept an eye out for him to snap a photo of him on our property, but never saw him after that. He’s not normally lose, either. It looks like he snapped out of his collar.
Apparently he was out for about 8 hours lose. The attack happened at 11am, and around 4pm I decided that the girls should come out to stretch their legs and scrounge. I stayed outside pretty much the entire time with them and our border collie (Belle) on her leash as she was freaked out about her chickens going missing earlier (she’s super protective of them). When my hubby went to come down the road on his way back from work, apparently the dog attacked the truck. Belle had been barking and snarling every once and a while, but I figured it was a combination of smelling the dog from earlier and having the crap jumped out of her by a squirrel. Hubby called to let me know that the dog was still loose. Needless to say, Belle and I backed the girls into a corner by the compost bin and I grabbed the nearby pitchfork just in case. Hubby wasn’t able to finish coming down the road until another neighbor (thankfully in a vehicle) was being harassed by the dog. Once hubby got home, he took Belle in and called local dispatch to let animal control know and we got the girls in the coop.
When animal control showed up, he chased her car down the road before going back and sitting on his property. Needless to say, she was planning on having a hell of a talk with the owners. Hubby’s going to call and follow up today, even though normally that’s not the norm around here. We just want to make sure things have been taken care of.
The scary thing is that this is a highly aggressive dog (the animal control lady couldn’t even get out of her blazer to approach him with the pole) who lives at the same residence as a child. It also seems like there are possibly signs of abuse from what the control officer said. I’m nine months pregnant and expecting our first child. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be afraid to walk down my own road. They also have a huskie and the two dogs don’t get along at all, which is why this one was tied up outside for 8+ hours. You better believe any slight infraction will be called in from here on out. We try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I’m done.
I’m so thankful everyone made it through okay! (And that I didn’t go into labor dealing with all of this…)
We now have our third and possibly last edition to the Raymond flock. Welcome to the family, Skadoosh!
I apologize for the poorly focused photos (the camera battery was dying), but you can still get a wonderful idea as to her colouring. Skee (as we’ve nick-named her) is a very skittish, two month old Araucana who had been pecked at by the larger one in a mixed flock of twelve birds.
Right now she’s in her own little tractor made out of a portion of my parents’ old cat run.
The plan right now is to not have her out with the others for a week or so, letting her get used to us and them through the safety of a fence. This will also give us time to make sure that she’s completely healthy and healed. We’re going to slowly move the tractors closer to one another so that they can get used to each other’s sounds and company. In about a week or a little more we’ll begin doing supervised free range time as a flock. Given that Edith, one of our comets, is also very docile, and Louise isn’t too big of a bully, they should be able to be a very happy family by the time we have the coop built.
On the egging front, all soft eggs have disappeared, as well with the egg eating incidences. We have had close to two dozen eggs from Edith and Louise and both are laying one a day!