Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I've also learned that there's a hard and ugly side to nature that I don't like at all...
My girls free range every day and with the dogs and myself outside I feel that they're safe and since moving here all has been well. I know we have all kinds of predators on the land but with all of us outside together it feels right. Keeping chickens in a coop 24/7 doesn't.
The other day I had them out like usual and all eight girls were dust bathing by my front door. I went inside for a little bit and duh...... let Duke in with me. Bad move.
As I went back outside I heard and saw one of my girls running across the driveway and instantly knew something was wrong. One, they never go over into that area and two, one of my hens was signing her warning song. I got everyone put away and yes I was missing one.
I ran over to the driveway where I found feathers. It appears that she was dust bathing under a small tree and something got her. Quickly and quietly. I followed the feather trail to no avail, she was gone.
The next two days I didn't let anyone out as I knew whatever it was would be back and I suspected either a coyote or bobcat....
I am so bummed I lost a hen but also understand the predators here are simply trying to survivor too. We have a ton of rabbits and squirrels but by leaving my girl unsupervised for a few minutes I gave them opportunity.
It was a bobcat. He's been back naturally to see if I've left another opportunity, I haven't. I'm back to letting my girls out again but for shorter times and only when both dogs and myself are with them.
Yes I love nature, I just don't particularly care for the harsh and ugly side of it but I know it's a necessary balance, just not an easy one.