Sunday, September 20
Sunday Sept. 20th... Caught her Red Handed with Feathers Blowing Everywhere...
WOW... The Guinea hens are like little Al Capone's of the chicken world. Very little fear of anything and dumb as a box of rocks, all at the same time!!! Yesterday as I was setting on the back of the John Deere, husking corn for the cookout, all the chickens suddenly ran to me and tried to jam together und a bush near the deck gate. I looked toward the old chicken/duck barn in time to see the Italian mafia hit men heading toward the rear woods and cackling their displeasure. I immediately knew something was wrong and ran into the house to grab the 12 gauge shotgun and headed out across the yard cautiously looking for what ever was pissing the Godfathers off. As I approached the old chicken/duck barn, I noticed that the Guinea's had changed location and had run to the other side of the thicket, below the barns. I continued to sneak on the other side, looking far out into the underbrush and up into the trees, in case it was a hawk. When I reached the compost pile, I stopped and just watched and listened to the cackling of the Guinea's as they got louder and louder. I saw a large Brahma hen lying dead in the brush, just behind the brooding house and knew instantly it wasn't a hawk, because the chicken was in really tight brush, open only at ground level...so a hawk could have never gotten in or out of there. I realized that the Guinea's were going into the swampy area and coming toward me, when I saw movement in the high grass and weeds along the swamp. It was a red fox, coming back to grab the Brahma before leaving. One shot dispatched the red instantly. It was a beautiful female, but a deadly visitor to our farm and one that had to be dealt with. I figure this same female fox has dispatched a good 15 to 20 chickens and two ducks, (Emily was one and was a heartbreak to Vick when it got her) making this red fox a good three hundred dollar bandit!
It makes me sick to shoot such a beautiful creature...for I think they are one of nature's most beautiful animals and I wish they would just stay out in the fields catching mice and everything would be ok. Perhaps when we get more Guinea hens in a few days when a friend trades 20 or so juvenile Guinea hen poults for a baby angora rabbit, they will be able to keep the foxes and hawks at bay. Vicki already witnessed three Guineas make a hawk fly out of the yard, as soon as it landed. They rushed it and actually sent it on its way, much as the crows do at times. There is definitely safety in numbers! Anyway, I got the fox that was constantly dining on our chickens and threw him on the stone wall by the swamp, using it as a billboard sign type warning to other foxes that drift by the farm.
Today was also a pretty good day. We finished the gate and fence system at the brooding house to get ready for those Guinea poults which are coming, worked around the barn a bit doing things that needed done. We opened a hole on the side wall of the steps for both Kaylee and Calli to exit the loft and run around in the lower section of the barn. We placed a six inch wide board at the same angle as the steps for them to climb up or down to the hole. We placed it half way up the steps to keep chickens and other animals from going up the loft steps to the hay. The cats don't mind climbing or walking a plank to get there. Joe had a football practice today that he forgot, so he traded tomorrow for this morning. He will show up tomorrow and clean the barns and we'll finish the drain at the gift shop and be ready to start the porch decking.
If all goes well my poetry book will go to press tomorrow and I'll receive a proof on Tuesday sometime. I think this will be the last one I will receive and we will be ready to approve it for printing. Before long I should have the boxes of finished books. I'm doing rewrites on the second book, "It all Began With a Puppy...Our Uncommon Journey", which should be out early in 2010 sometime. It should be a good seller because it is the kind of book that people want to read. It is a lot like the blog, with Vick and my life story together and how we started the Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC and what we do. Anyone that has read a small piece of it really liked it so almost everyone should enjoy it.