Thursday, April 30, 2015

Feathered Gallantry

by Pa Rock
Chicken Rancher

Yesterday the neighbor's dog, a beagle, escaped his bonds at home and came trotting across the road to my little farm.  By the time I was aware of his presence, he had already killed one of my little red hens, caused another to disappear and was savaging the second of my roosters.  Both roosters survived, barely, but had all of the feathers on their rear ends ripped off by that monster of a little dog.  Now the poor roosters can't fly, and they may or may not survive the ordeal.  Both appear to be in a state of shock.

I will miss the roosters terribly if they die.   They were actually given to me by the same kid whose dog wreaked so much havoc yesterday.  Those roosters, both Arcanas, constantly watch over the hens and are their protectors.   When I give the hens their daily treats, small bits of bread, the roosters stand back and let the hens eat.  I have no doubt that when the craziness started yesterday, the dog grabbed one or two handy chickens, snapped their necks, and then before he could catch more, the roosters intervened and flung themselves at the dog.    I arrived on the scene as the second rooster was being mauled.  After using some military vocabulary on the beagle, I grabbed a shovel and gave him a glancing blow on the backside and he ran like hell for home.

Beagles are pretty much a worthless breed.  When confronted with a small, helpless animal, a beagle will do what it is bred to do - chase that sucker down and kill it.   Beagles go absolutely insane whenever a rabbit is nearby, hence we have no rabbits in our lovely sylvan dell.  When it comes to beagles, give me a pit bull anytime.

To frost the cake, another of my baby bantys also died last night.  Now I am down to five of those fowl.

The peacocks ran for cover in the barn when they heard the commotion, and they stayed inside for the remainder of the day.  They are smart birds.

And as to my chicken flock, the adult Rhode Island Red hens are at nine.  Eggs are going to be getting scarcer until the new chicks start laying in September and October - and I have no idea how many of the ten little Rhode Island Red chicks will turn out to be hens.

Farming can be a brutal business - some days.

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