Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When The Food Runs Out...

Fall. The end of the growing season. Harvest time. Not just for plants but, for predators.

We're no strangers to predator attacks and loss of chickens. We've had our share. Raccoons, possums and hawks have all visited at one time or another. The coons and hawks have successfully scored from us, too. But, today won't be one of those days.

When I'm using the computer I periodically look out the window to a place out yonder. Out yonder where the chickens hang out. This year, perhaps last, I rebuilt the enclosed pen for my birds. Two years ago I thought is was time for the birds to have their freedom and removed the enclosures - setting them free to frolic in the backyard. The coons and hawks devastated my flock of Polands and I had learned a lesson. No more free-range without me being close at hand. No more keeping the coops opened/unsecured at night, either.

This morning, just after daybreak, I took a glance out the window. Out yonder, where the chickens are having their morning water and feed. I saw a familiar figure standing boldly in front of Gordon and the Banty Barn. Intent on grabbing some early chow, he stalked around. Looking for an opening. A way to fill his growling belly. Hoping today's menu would be chicken. I snapped a horrible picture of him and watched several minutes. He flew up on top of the run. He walked round and round. No luck for him, today. My defenses proved worthy. The early bird may get the worm. But, not my chickens. I'm the Seinfeld Soup Nazi. 'no chicken for you.'

No sooner did I open the back door, he was gone. Beat feathers to another spot. Perhaps, hiding in the trees but, I think he's moved on for today. I went out and told everybody it was safe. The banties came out and sampled some old meal worm/beetle carcasses. The big girls are still holed up in the coop. Scared. Making the danger sounds. The hawk had herded them some from outside the fence until they went inside. They're still pretty spooked.

So, it's that time of year again. Food is getting harder to find and my yard is a favored eatery. The chickens will be safe from flying predators. Haven't had any land predators yet. Hopefully, won't. One thing is for sure, Higgins will have a bodyguard for a few days when he goes out to soil the trees and fertilize the yard.

He was here last week snooping around also. Better pictures in a past post - 13 Oct 2015


  1. Glad he gave up and moved on. We will be learning about that next year. We have possums and raccoons, hawks. Fox and coyotes. Gators across the street in the bayou. Hopefully they will stay there, at least. Might be time to invest in a dog.
    Be safe!

  2. We use enclosed runs, too. Almost every land and air predator here. Before we roofed the runs with tin, there was gridwall; about 3.5-inch open rigid squares. Would you believe a hawk (a small one) wrangled itself into the run?! That was my first loss, less than a week after getting my first pullets. Now there is tin roofing on the gridwall, which is good for keeping out the rain anyway. Having chickens is an buffet invitation to the surrounding wildlife. So glad your are safe, too. Enjoy your blog.