The Call Again Farm Journal

  (East Aurora, New York)
Find out what it's like to keep free range poultry for a hobby!
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A Tough Week

I was planning to make today's blog entry a review of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which I just finished reading last night.  However, in light of last night's events, I am putting off posting the review until tomorrow and instead telling you the big news.

Last night was a miserable night.  It was cold, rain (later, a mix of rain and snow) was falling, and it was very, very windy.  Apparently, it was so windy that the top of the chicken coop blew open.  We used to latch it shut, but then the top got out of alinement with the frame, and the latch no longer lined up.  We never did anything about that, because in the design for the chicken coop, the latch was called a "predator proof latch" and the top of the chicken coop seemed too heavy for a predator to lift.  Perhaps if we'd done something about the latch, the wind wouldn't have been able to blow open the coop.

It was late at night when the coop blew open, so we didn't realize what happened.  We went to bed, and at 2:30 a.m. Bob heard the chicken making a racket.  He ran outside, the dog following him, but he was too late.  Two hens were missing.  Our dog led Dianna to the fox den in the neighbor's yard, so we suspect it was a fox (or Mr. and Mrs. Fox) who took the hens.

I cried and cried and cried about those hens.  After having a 100% survival rate for the chickens all year, we lost 25% of our flock (between King Louis and these hens) in less than one week.  I won't let anything like this happen again, though.  I've learned the hard way.

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