Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hissing Chickens

You didn't know they hiss? Neither did I! In order to tell the story properly I'll have to back up to last Monday when we lost our last turkey. She was there at 330 or 4, but never made it to the hen house that night. Less than 48 hours later I heard a ruckus outside and got to the window just in time to see a coyote running down the road with a chicken in its mouth. That makes 9 birds we've lost in about as many months and I'm tired of feeding the coyotes!

We decided we can't let them roam free any longer (until last week we hadn't lost a bird since August, so we thought the trouble was over) so we decided to put them in with our "herd". Our herd consists of two milk goats and one of their whethered kids, and our Elsie cow. That means clipping their wings so they can't get out. And that means catching them. Or waiting til they roost in the hen house, which is what we opted to do. I wanted to be the one holding the bird while Tony clipped, so I went in to grab one. They were all on the furthest shelf and I had to reach over one perch to get to them and as I did I heard hissing. Yes, hissing! Turns out it was my jacket as it slid across the closer perch. Haha! My heart was beating faster thinking that these chickens KNEW what we were doing and had planned a revolt against us!

So Tony clipped one set and I did the other 3 because he could reach the perch better. It's really simple-assuming we did it right. We put them on the perch in the goat shelter and they seemed to be happy. They should be able to find plenty of bugs living in the cow patties, right?