For most people here you understand how I live and the reasons why I live the way I do. It is a system that balances on many factors, some I can control, some I can't.
I know I have had ONE egg fried and savored in the last two months. No pancakes, no Souffles, no cakes, nothing that requires a egg. Sadly my old flock is in its senior years, and the girls are beyond their hot flashes and have just about stopped laying. I would cull them, but their are our first flock and I said I would only cull them if it made them live more comfy.
The new flock has had a Rooster, a kind gentle Silkie. I didn't know he had fight in him, but now I know he does, and he is ready to defend the flock.
Growing up on a Farm, you understand sometimes bad things happen. In order to secure the problem you have to look at the evidence and decide how and what happened. Even when you look at what is there before you, it isn't what it seems.
Joshua came in and mentioned he saw a Red-Tail Hawk looming in the trees near the coop and he saw one dead chicken and other stuff. We had just come home from Church and I was cooking lunch, but it was a Homesteaders worst fear, grabbing the gun to defend what is yours. I will defend my way of living and my food including my animals.
Wait... You can't shoot at a Hawk against the law, but my thoughts were different as he said he saw a dead chicken. I knew it wasn't a Hawk, a Hawk would carry its pray off to eat... But I knew that the killer was near and close by. I thought a dog was near by, and if lived by me and your dog entered my property line and killed my chickens, I would kill your dog. I have no relationship with your dog, my dog has been trained to guard the chickens and not harm them.
So as the evidence was there, a dead chicken laid at my feet, I looked at the method of killing and looked around the pen. It was the scene of horror for a chicken, a real reason why they are so skittish by nature. Piles of feathers, each pile near or around the edge of the fence.
I figured if a coon had made the kills, I would find more dead chickens as I had 7 still missing. I ruled out a yottie, and then a weasel was considered. I didn't know so we recovered the live chickens secured them.
After lunch I went out to look around and decided to make my "chicken call" just in case the girls had escaped some how and made a run for it... What do you know, they did, and they were still alive and called back to me!! Scared, but still alive, the Araucana ran to me (we are friends) and so she was happy and settled up in my arms. I called out to Danielle and Jessica to help me, I told Joshua where to go. We got four of them, the other three had been hurt pretty bad by the feathers in the pen. By evening they showed up ready for food and water.
I suspect a young coon came in and the rooster defended the flock while many of the got away. We did loose one chicken, and she was buried as she died unexpected and was honored.
The great news is that the girls have started to lay!!