I have previously mentioned that, due to our new addition that will be showing up early next year, we took to selling some of our chickens.
While it was an emotional process, I knew it was for the best. Lord knows I’ll be insanely exhausted after we bring home a newborn. I had raised each of these girls since they were just wee little chicks, though. BUT I got to keep the ones we had named.
Sunday morning was difficult. As soon as I walked out to the chicken coop I could tell something was wrong. The shovels which we used to shove in front of the door (redneck, I know) had fallen down and feathers littered the entrance to the coop. Immediately I stepped inside to see what the damage was and….nothing.
Then I hear squawking. The dogs had followed me in and were sniffing around Red. As I quickly shooed them away, I noticed she did not look well. All of the feathers on her neck had been ripped off and she had a few attempted bite marks along her neck. Carrying around to help her feel safe and then placing her in the barn so she could calm down and heal, I couldn’t help but also feel grateful that that was the worst that had happened.
Then I got back to the coop. There sat Blackie, soaking wet. My best guess is that she jumped into the small duck pool to hide as the raccoon was attacking her. I have no clue how she got out of the pool again, but she was soaked. And in a rough state.
Blackie who had already overcome so much. Two or three years back she was attacked by our dogs. They got a decent bite in, right by her leg. We put her in quarantine but never expected her to make it. She could hardly get around and the wound was deep. But she’s a survivor and she pulled through despite all the odds. She even pulled through without so much as a limp. Now she was in an even worse state.
She was jumpy, which is to be expected, and I didn’t want her getting run over by others in the coop. So off to quarantine in the barn she went. Right alongside Red. The raccoon had taken a couple decent sized bites out of each of her sides. She had a few puncture wounds on her neck. But she could still move. Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to get too hopeful. Raising chickens as long as I have, I noticed a look in their eyes when they’re close to giving up. Blackie’s eyes had that look. So I figured at least no one would bother her in the barn and she would die in peace.
I went out multiple times that day, always expecting to find that she’d passed away. But by the end of the night she had even eaten and had something to drink. Still, I’ve been a chicken farmer for nearly five years now and I fully expected that she wouldn’t make it through the night.
So, imagine my surprise, when every time I saw her she was acting more normal. Then, last night, I went out to go break up a turkey fight (more to come on that) and there she was with the other chickens from the coop. Apparently Blackie decided it was time to re-join the flock and I wasn’t going to argue with her. Red, on the other hand, had decided quarantine was not for her and escaped after only a few hours. As one of the two oldest girls we have, I guess not much can scare Red off anymore.
So….these turkeys. I look outside and I’ve got two turkeys on each side of the garden fence just staring each other down. It’s hilarious. And then they start trying to peck at each other. An hour later, when I look out the window, they are still pecking at each other and I realize….I have to get this on video!
Naturally as soon as I step outside, I realize the fighting has gotten worse. They are actually making each other bloody and bruised and one went in for a throat shot. I split them up and check them out. I assume they are probably both males fighting for dominance.
Later that night, I’m trying to get the turkeys to bed in the barn and, sure enough, another fight breaks out! This time there was no fence so it was full tooth and nail. Thankfully I got them split up before either caused too much damage. The other three turkeys had no problem just standing there and watching. They even started to peck at one of the male turkeys it had blood on their face. Stupid turkeys.
Thank goodness the fighting seems to have stopped. I don’t really care who won the dominance fight as long as they don’t make each other look any worse. Our sitting turkey is apparently one of the males and, as of this morning, he looked awful. His head is all kinds of bruised up and it appears he certainly lost the last fight.
However, I did also get a chance to notice the one thing that sets him apart from all of our other turkeys. Sitting turkey has a black spot near is tail feathers. At first I thought it was simply some dirt, but no. An actually black spot on his feathers. This has henceforth earned him the name Davy Jones.
With raccoons invading our lands again I also took the time to take count of our chickens last night and this morning. Nineteen. We had 20 just a few days ago. That’s when I realized that Summer, our only Isa Brown, had disappeared. She was quite adventurous so I suppose it’s not a huge surprise that she would have gotten taken. However, it still makes me sad. If the raccoon had gotten my two little survivors I would have lost three of my girls in just one day.
This has made me decided on a small project. Since these are my special, named girls I have decided that I will be working to get photos of each of them so that they can be properly remembered at their passing. And also so I won’t have to wrack my brain attempting to figure out which chicken might be missing when I do a count.
This weekend….bring on those crazy kiddos and the celebration of my favorite youngest daughter’s birthday.