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Archive for September, 2013

Bakaaaaawwwwwk!  Bakwaaaaaaak!  came the cry in the wee hours of the morning.  The sun was providing a hint of the day to come as I arose to the alarming cry from our last leghorn hen.  I knew it was not a good sound and quickly dressed.

“Something is after the chicken,” I said to Tammi, who was waking to my activity.

“Oh no! Not the last one!” she said.

I grabbed a flashlight and headed out the door.   I didn’t bother with the .22.  I figured the murdering varmint was long gone.  Sure enough, by the coop, there was a pile of white feathers, like someone had dumped out a pillow.  There was a trail leading to it from the pasture fence, and then a trail heading back toward the barn.  I followed the trail to the barn and looked around, shining the light in the stalls.  There was no sign of the chicken or the critter that took her away.

Thus ended the “25 Chicken Experiment” begun late last winter, before we moved.  One had died in a coop accident (see earlier entry). Eighteen were sold at a profit.  This left six that we allowed to free range since the spring.  Unfortunately, we lost about one a month, on average.

Plans for two additional chicken experiments are already underway — laying hens and meat chickens.  We will keep them separate on opposite sides of the coop.  I doubt we will try free range again — perhaps sticking with a fenced in paddock.  We will keep you posted!

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