In talking last evening, Vicki and I figured that we must have lost at least a dozen birds yesterday afternoon. We hadn’t taken a good count for quite awhile, and we know that there has been a hawk taking a bird now and then, because we missed certain birds as the days passed. All in all we figure we have lost a total of around 30 chickens. Twelve yesterday afternoon, based on the feathers in the yard and the other 18 to hawks since leaving them out in March. I’ve seen the hawk once and didn’t have a gun handy. He was sitting in a tree at the edge of the woods, directly above the chickens, ready to swoop down at anytime, but I scared him off when I went to the back shed. I know he would have gotten one that day. I have been watching closely (I thought) for him to return. Now, I have to wonder… since missing the massacre yesterday, right under our noses. It makes you feel like you’ve failed as the animals keepers…… after all, it’s our job to care for them and protect them. We both feel so bad for the scared, defenseless birds, then I feel rage and contempt for anything that threatens the farm animals and will strike instantly when I see a predator…… wild or domestic.
I’ll have a gun handy today as we place a bottom fence section under the pasture fence to make sure that Bollero can’t squeeze under while stretching for grass anymore. He keeps stretching and stretching for that succulent, green grass and then he realizes he is outside the fence and stands up, then goes frantically around the outside of the fence trying to find a way back inside…… scared to death. After we install a strand of wire midway between the bottom rail and the ground that will stop that worry too.