Monday, October 3, 2011

Bad Year for Poultry

This year has been hard on the poultry on our farm.  Our first year we lost 11 birds over a 1 year span and then went a very long time with no losses.  This year we're seeing a rise again.  These are the ones I can recall, we may have lost 1 or 2 prior to the loss of the first juveniles in the spring.
  1. 1 young turkey due to exposure
  2. 1 young chick due to 5 year old boy's curiosity
  3. 1 young turkey cause unknown
  4. 1 adult hen from accidental poisoning
  5. 1 juvenile hen due to illness
  6. 1 rooster due to hawk attack (assumed hawk)
  7. 1 adult hen simply disappeared
  8. 1 juvenile hen eaten by pig
It's sad to lose one, but this year, fencing the property wouldn't have saved any of them except maybe the 2nd turkey and the hen that disappeared earlier this week.  It's still cheaper to replace a bird than to fence everything, but if we choose to make this our long term home, we'll likely fence it for various reasons.  The first year when we lost 11, most were probably coyote attacks, but even then it's still more expensive to put up fencing.

The one lost to the pig happened today.  Probably when we were at the park late afternoon.  I don't know how she got in there, but there are feathers all over and the backbone and wings.  It's not the loss that bothers me as much as which one-it'd be nice if it were one of the older hens on the downside of their laying career rather than one that just entered that stage, but it's in God's hands, right?  I hope the other hens were watching so they'll not try to go in the pig pen!

EDIT!  That darn pig got another of the juvenile hens!!  Guess whose life will be cut short, despite making good growth gains since coming to us?!  I'm off to research roasting whole pigs, as she's not big enough to take the time to butcher.  We can't figure out how or why the chickens are getting into her pen, but suspect it's to scrounge after food she hasn't eaten.  They could be flying over, as the fencing isn't very high, but more so than the hens usually go.

Also, I forgot that we lost 2 ducks shortly after they came to our home, so with today's attack, the total is now 11 poultry birds lost this year, making it worse than the first year.