Disappearing poultry.

I normally would post this type of farm post on my farm blog. But due to technical difficulties I am unable to do so. So here it is on this blog!

We have chickens – I’m losing count bc they are disappearing. I think we have 19 left. I think. I haven’t counted today. We have six ducks and they are easy to count bc they move in one duck blob.

Last week my boys found a dead hen inside the enclosure. The enclosure is a big yard to protect the birds and then they have a run that is attached to their coop that closes. It has a roof. All meant for protection. That is if you are being diligent protecting them. We had gotten a false sense of security as we had not had any predators in the almost three years I have had chickens. So we didn’t lock up the birds in the run at night thus confining them that and their coop. They had access to the enclosure 24/7. So we had a dead hen. The boys took her to the woods before I could see her. But in looking at the crime scene I figured this out:
Something from the outside either got in under the fence of the enclosure or was able to kill the hen near the fence and tried to drag her out. There were parts of her in the outside of the fence.
Was it a fox or bird? I don’t know. I did not see footprints.
Was it a murder by the other hens and then something tried to pull it out? Could Baldy my hen that ran free have gone after her from the outside? She was right up against the fence when found. All a mystery – so we decided to make sure they were all closed up in that run and coop at night. Except Baldy….
Baldy was a free hen. She had been freed last winter after the other hens and nasty roosters were picking on her. She lived happily in the barn and poked around the outside of the bird enclosure daily. We became fond of her. But she went missing a couple days ago and she left a pile of feathers in her wake. No blood. I am sure she is gone for good but I went out and looked around a bit but found nada – and out cat is missing too. She will probably show back up. She’s like that.

So maybe we are in for a battle. Once whatever it is comes once they are bound to return. Tonight the ducks and hens are closed up as safely in their coop/run-well as safe as we can provide. It makes me mad that some thing is taking my chickens but I also realize it’s part of life. I’m not likely to try to kill whatever it is. Though I did here a gunshot pretty close by yesterday. Sometimes the farm behind us lets hunters on early though. But maybe someone else with chickens missing saw the predator and took a shot. I guess we will see.

I am find if my chickens and Baldy was cool. My husband said we are a bit sad at losing her bc we named her. Maybe he has a point! I didn’t feel much over the first murder this week. It was my Plymouth Rock hen w no name -but I did have a moment of disappointment then worry that whatever got her would be back and sure enough Baldy is gone.

It’s always something here. I learn something everyday about life. Today it was lock your hens in at night bc the big bad wolf is hiding out there somewhere. Or the big bad hawk or the big bad something.

Thanks for reading.
Beware crime scene photos to follow. The footprint is our cats I think. There were no prints near the feathers. I am into forensics …haha.

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