Thursday, September 24, 2009

And Then There Were Twenty Two....

We got home from CSA on Tuesday night to find some of The Chicks out of the barn. They were mostly congregating under a large, old spruce just outside the barn doors. We had forgotten to put the gate across the barn door! We gathered them up: Farmer Boy 'herding' them with a tall walking stick. Our Blaze, a Border Collie mix, has never shown any interest in herding; he was oddly missing through this whole operation. When we got them back in the pen, six were missing. So, the search was on! After literally beating the bush around the barn, we found two more roosting in another old spruce. We kept looking, and it was getting dark now. Just as Farmer Boy located another one in front of the house, our neighbour drove up. She was quite upset: she had just taken away two chicken carcasses from her two farm dogs. She felt very badly, and we had to assure her it was not her fault or her dogs, we were the ones that left the barn open. It took a while to catch the little hen in the front of the house. There's a long line of big old spruce, with branches to the ground and it was hard to get in at her. That mission was finally accomplished, it's quite dark and one chick is still unaccounted for. Farmer Boy said that she would be roosting in a tree by now, and if she's okay, she'll be around in the morning to get fed. Well, still no sign of her more than twenty four hours later, so we have to assume she's gone. Yesterday afternoon, we spotted a fox out in our alfalfa field so there are so many possibilities about what might have happened: our Blaze, the neighbour's dogs to the west, the neighbour's dogs to the east, foxes, coyotes or hawks. But now, there are twenty two little Isa Brown chicks.

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