Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sad Times at The Roost

by Pa Rock
Farmer in Summer

Rock's Roost has lost some more of its fine feathered guests.  This continues to be a hard year for the farm fowl.

Thursday evening - late - I walked around the farm shutting the chickens in and telling everyone goodnight.  One of the last stops I made was at the garden enclosure where my three remaining Red Jungle Fowl were still scratching for the last of the day's bugs before flying up into their maple tree to roost for the night.   The four black ducklings and little Cosmo, the peacock, were also  grouped up on the ground in the enclosure talking quietly to one another as the evening settled in.  Cosmo had situated himself in the middle of the group.

Early Friday morning as I was stumbling around opening the chicken coop and scattering the breakfast grain, I noticed that the garden spot was unusually quiet.  The three Red Jungle Fowl were still there, though subdued, but Cosmo and the ducks were gone.  There was no sign of a struggle, but the ducks had no feathers so they did not fly over the fence and go on a walkabout.  Something had gotten the personable birds.  Something had eaten very well during the night.

It's all part of farming and the cycle of life - but it's sad nonetheless, and I am sad.

I have two new baby black ducklings living under a heat lamp in my bathroom.  One was born Wednesday and the other Friday.  Tomorrow, while my Kansas City grandchildren are here, I will put the little ducklings out in the chicken coop - in the nursery - with the sixteen baby Rhode Island Reds - where they will remain, caged in safety, until they are very old ducks.

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