So last week was a bad week for the farm. Something got into my chicken house and not only took out most of the the hens that had just started laying, it also got my favorite rooster Upgrayeed and another rooster that I planned on processing on my next free weekend!
I can't tell you how bummed out I was when i discovered the carnage. The roosters did not even have a bite on them, whatever critter it was killed them just for the sport of it.
Some might wonder how you can process the animals and eat them and at the same time be upset that they were taken out by a predator, but it's really not that hard to understand. For one thing, you put a lot of time, money, and energy into taking care of the animals as best you can. When a predator takes them out it's almost the same feeling as being robbed and you start second guessing yourself on if you could have done something different.
In this case, yes I could have. I knew that part of the coop was vulnerable from the top, but since I had went so long with no problems, I kept pushing back fixing the problem even though I knew better.
Additionally, I had just run an add advertising we had eggs for sale. I had to pull the add due to the fact that all my new egg layers were taken out in one night. In fact, I'm lucky two new customers were a no show or I would have had to start turning people away.
In short, I was totally bummed out about losing my rooster and at least five of my six month old Rhode Island Red hens.
However, farm life goes on. This past Saturday I went to the feed store and picked up six new hens that looked to be two-three months old (the feed store loses count of age once they go into the big pen outside) and brought them home to the farm. Two Barred Rocks, two Buff Orphingtons, and two Rhode Island Reds. I added them to the big coop as well as moved the Amercaunas and Olive Eggers from the chicken tractor to the coop. I'm still getting several eggs a day and in 4-5 months I should have 13 more hens laying.
I went over the main coop and covered every hole I could find with either wire or 4x4 blocks and for the last week nothing has gotten in, so hopefully everyone is safe and sound. I set a live trap as well to see if I can catch whatever critter it was that got in.
In the video linked above I talk a little bit more about this and you can see how sloppy everything is from the rain we had all this past week.
Here is to sunnier days and safe chickens!