Saturday, September 25, 2010

Part I: What is Going ON in the Hen House ?!?

This Post was Created in August but due to slow camera crew I did  not have the pictures to insert...I still don't and will post this in hopes that the cameraman reads it and hops to....

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To MUCH is what is going on the hen house right now.

Earlier in the week we left the coop door open but the pen was shut so we were taking a chance.  Of course, as "luck" would have it, we lost a bird overnight.  Cinderella was no where to be found.  I searched the perimeter of the pen, the nearby woods and eventually, which a sincere hope I would not find anything, the hay loft section of the coop.  Thankfully it was empty.  It wasn't likely she would be there, because why would any animal kill and then not take it's prey with it, but still, she was nowhere to be found so I wanted to check all options.  I found some feathers on the ground of the coop and some more in the back corner of the pen in a pile of leaves.  Conclusion = Raccoon or Possum came in, took Cinderella who had been brooding for weeks on unfertilized eggs and would not leave those nests.  Since the other birds were roosting they were much safer...in my mind that is.  Clearly coons and possum can climb very well.  Nevertheless, that was what my Sherlock intuition was willing to settle on as "The Reason".

In addition to that, I noticed yesterday that the largest of the Rocks has a broken wing!  What the heck is going on around here?

I did not address the wing yesterday because when I examined her I could not see any visible breaks, blood , or even apparent discomfort to the bird when I handled the broken wing.  But it is clearly broken.


************ INSERT PIC OF BROKEN WING BIRD ****************

I have 2 choices and really only one seems like it will be effective, so today I planned to cut the wing.



So then THIS part of my day happened......

I keep smelling this bad smell...like decaying something or other.  I have searched the outside perimeter of the pen and could not find anything.  I thought I might even find a partially eaten chicken, but nothing.  Today, I went into the coop to shake the food...(mind you I have been in to feed and water the birds each day this week) ... and the smell was really strong.  OH NO!!  I looked down and under the floor of the nesting area I can see the tail of Cinderella.  UGHHHHHHHHHH.

Yep....so that's where I am right now.  I have found the missing Cinderella, dead for days shoved under the floor of the coop.  My new conclusion is that she knew she was going to die and all of that brooding in this hot humid weather was the end of her.  She wasn't drinking or eating enough because she just sat and sat.  And instead of roosting up on the cool open roost, she tucked herself away day and night in those hay filled cozy nests.

I am trying to mentally prepare myself for what I have to do next.  I think I had a sufficient freak out session on the porch immediately after I found her.  Which was the followup to my initial freak out session in the coop when I FIRST found her.

Funny thing is...I was just waking Biscuit and thinking that I would really like to volunteer some time at the Anderson's this fall so that I can learn about how to take care of goats.  I'd also like to work with them a bit to get familiar and make sure that that is the path I want to go.  Alpacas have been catching my eye a lot lately and while not feasible for this property currently, they could be part of the next phase.

Signing out for now........................................ not sure how this whole thing will go down but there's only one way to find out.

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