I'll try to catch you up on the summer activities. No pictures yet, as I still need to develop the film. No, I don't have a digital camera. It is better to take animal pictures with a film camera - the picture taking is quicker.
Anyway, the day-old baby chicks arrive in mid June. 25 Black Australorps, 10 Silver-Laced Wyandotts. I had ordered the new chicken coop kit a few weeks earlier, thinking it would be here in plenty of time to set it up and move the chicks from their brooder at about 1 month old. Well..... the coop took 6 weeks to arrive instead of 3 and it still had to be assembled. Needless to say the chicks outgrew their brooder BEFORE the coop was ready. With the help of Nancy and Trish we quickly built a small pen to give the chicklets some running room during the day.
Again with the help of Nancy and Trish the coop kit was assembled in one day, another day for the roofing and anotherfew hours for flight netting to cover the entire pen. Flight netting is wonderful to work with compared to chicken wire. It stretches and can be pulled tight. The chicklets could then be moved to their new quarters.
So time passes, the chicklets continue to grow. We are hearing funny "crowing" noises that sound more like a goat yelling. Finally a couple weeks ago, some real crowing! Now I'm checking for eggs everyday - none yet- but soon I hope!! I added the red heat lamp to the coop, just in time for the 15 degree frostly cold weekend. And then... the fox attack. In the middle of the day on that 15 degree freezing morning, a fox killed 7 of the young hens (the bantams are ok). Ok, so now I'm outside putting flight netting over the entire chicken run. Have to work on Monday, so didn't get all the chicken wire up around the panels. I'm keeping my fingers crossed at work. Monday evening everything is ok. Tuesday morning - as I'm doing chores - Matt one of the bantams roosters lets out this strange sound. I look to see TWO foxes right outside the chicken yard!! I run around the haystack and yell, they take off down the valley. I think ok- we're safe for the day - but NO and hour and a half later as I'm ready to head for the job I hear the dogs next door barking. I look out the window to se THE FOX coming down the fence line. I fly out the back door and down the hill (barefoot with the temperature about 30 degrees) - don't think my feet really touch the ground. By now the fox has hopped through the 6 inch square hole in the panel and has a chicken on the ground. Yelling like a banshee I scare the fox, who lets go of the chicken and tries to bolt out of the pen , is trapped momentarily then finds a hole out to the goat pen and away. The goats look rather surprised as this furry beast flies through their pen!
Anyway, the hen has a couple bites on her, but hopefully she will be ok. Used lavender oil on the wounds and gave her a drop of Rescue remedy in her mouth. Nancy came up and helped me ge chicken wire all around the pen. The chicken yard is like Fort Knox - it's even it bit hard to get in the gate. Hopefully we have foiled the foxes. We'll see if they show up again this morning....
to be continued