Today I was returning from an early morning trip to town and I realized I hadn't opened the high tunnel up before I left, and it was a very sunny day--that means HOT in the tunnel. While walking to the ht I spied a hawk flying out of the chicken pen. My heart sank. I ran over to the pen and saw the pile of feathers, remains of one of the newest chickens, and no chickens in sight. They always run to their coop when danger threatens. What I want to know is how does the hawk know not to eat the young, aggravating roosters that are just waiting to be butchered, OR the old hens that are at the end of their useful laying period. The hawk ALWAYS goes for the young pullets that are just nearing laying age.....grrrrrrrr!
I had grandios plans today of straightening a few lumber stacks and covering them better, but when you work with Mother Nature plans are apt to change at any given moment. I have committed to raising hens for eggs, so the majority of the afternoon was spent stringing the remains of a 3400 yard spool of 12 pound test line over the top of the pen and then tying hundreds of survey marking tape flags on the line. Great leg workout.......
It may not look like much in the photo, but it took almost a whole roll of survey tape, and about 3 hours of back-breaking work listening to chickens who were upset over the hawk, and also upset over being integrated together (babies and older chickens) just 2 days ago. Not a good day in "chicken-ville". I was about ready to kill a couple of the young roosters by the time I was finished! The term "pecking order" is just exactly what it means--chickens arguing and pecking, squawking, and growling to rank higher in the group I guess.
As I was finishing up the project the wind was blowing at a pretty good clip and the flags were all waving--The chicken empire is now festively decorated for the holidays! Hopefully it will "Trick the hawk with o-range rib-b0ns.....fa la la la la, la la la la". Sorry, couldn't help myself