Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stressful Day

It doesn't always go smoothly around here. The other day was stressful, at least for me.

Guv'nor had finally repaired his weed eater ("strimmer" as he calls it) and was out taking care of some overgrown areas around the chicken run. Little did we know at the time he had caused panic amongst the chickens.
When I went out to check on the chickens later, I found the rooster dead. He had gotten himself completely snarled up in the electronet fencing and had been electrocuted. It took us several minutes to untangle him. He wasn't my favorite chicken, but I didn't wish that for him.

One comfort is that the hens will now get a little rest from all his attentions and their feathers will have a chance to grow back. Also, I'm fairly confident I have a couple of cockerels in the next bunch.

Then later in the day around suppertime, I went to check on the little chicks and guineas in the garage and discovered a snake inside their pen. This was too much of a shock for me. Snakes really do unnerve me. After I quickly summoned the Guv'nor for help, I kept hearing that strange high pitched voice again saying things like, "no, no, no, no," and "get it, get it, get it, get it". After that all I could hear was Guv'nor saying things like, "calm down, think". Yes, all my logical and rational thinking had disappeared and sheer fright and panic had emerged as Guv'nor missed and the snake escaped into the garage.

The snake had killed one guinea and we think had started on a couple of chicks before we disturbed it. But because the snake was loose inside the garage - hiding somewhere - we couldn't risk leaving the chicks and guineas in there overnight. For a short time we put them all inside a small dog carrier for safety.

Then at dusk, we made the big move. First we moved the cheeky pullets to the big coop, taking a risk they would disturb the broody hens (which they did). They were fairly easy to catch since they were settled down for the night. We counted them as we moved them because they had scattered when Guv'nor was strimming. We counted 16, so one hadn't made it back to the coop. Thankfully it did the following day.

Then we transferred all the chicks and guineas from the dog carrier to the small coop. This went smoothly since they were already contained. We counted again - 8 guineas and 7 chicks.

I'm wondering if it was a coincidence that it was a full moon that night. 

Here's the rooster a few days before he died.

Here are the chicks and guineas in the garage before the snake arrived.

We gathered up the pullets around dusk.

Some were inside and some outside the coop.

We counted them as we moved them.

Then we moved the chicks and guineas to the small coop.

They are huddled together in the dog carrier.

Here they are a few days later inside the small coop.

They were a bit timid at first, not wanting to go outside the coop.

A few were brave enough to go outside.

Meanwhile, over in the big coop, the cheeky pullets have been put in their place.

There was a full moon that night.

1 comment:

  1. We had a particularly stressful week on our farm, too, although it didn't involve any deaths. Maybe there is something to that full moon theory.