|Shooing the hens into their new hut|
We left for vacation on a Thursday with a healthy flock, admittedly adventuring out of their electric fencing and co-mingling with the laying hens. When we arrived back one week later we counted only 6 birds and heard tales of a beheaded hen a few days back and coyotes cackling nearby at dusk. The beheading is a classic move by an owl. But 18 birds gone missing?!? Those coyotes must have had a field day, and are now cackling their mangy heads off somewhere after eating our fattened, 4-month old roosters.
The saddest part of it all is that we were about to harvest those birds next week to put away in our deep freezer, give as gifts to a few helpful hands. And now we are left with so few that have to meet their maker this weekend to spare the hyper-activity with our poor laying hens.
We have learned many lessons from this. And we are in pain, contemplating if there's enough time to raise some more birds before winter sets in.