Saturday, September 6, 2008

R.I.P. Rocky

Last night I went outside to find about 1/2 the chickens huddled under the front porch. When I startled them out, a large hawk flew up from the end of the house. Upon investigation I found Rocky, my favorite of the three roosters, headless on the ground still warm.

By the time I got back with the gun, the hawk had left the area. Jade and I buried Rocky where we found him and placed a large stone over the grave as a marker. I promised the girls I would paint his name on it for them.

I knew that predators were something we would most likely have to deal with. I think I was just refusing to believe it might really happen to us. Now I'm afraid to even let the chickens out of their coop. We don't have a run for them yet. The posts are in place, but the fencing isn't up yet. I guess I will need to do that this week and go get some netting to go over head.

I will miss seeing them run around to the front first thing in the morning. They love to sit under the lilacs. But I'd rather contain them better than loose more to a hawk. I'm also considering a great Pyrenees puppy and some guineas to protect and sound the alarm next time.


Farmgirl_dk: said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about Rocky. How awful that you had to find him like that. We are in the final stages of finishing our permanent chicken run. I will feel much safer once it's finally complete. I did make a big step yesterday - I dismantled the temporary run..all we need to do today (hopefully) is build the door. You'll feel better once your run is in place.

How about a donkey? I've had NO predator issues since I've had my donks. :-)

Chicken Momma said...

Thanks Dani. We have talked about getting a donkey once we have a barn actually. We are going to get goats too. In the mean time, I'm working harder to get them a run.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Just an FYI for the future: unless you have a horse, you'll need to get two donkeys...donkeys, like horses, are pack/herd animals and get very lonely without an equine companion. A lot of behavioral issues can crop up if they don't have a buddy.

Deborah said...

We've had a terrible time with predators since last fall. We've had an Anatolian shepherd who was able to keep things under control until this summer. Now we have added four llamas. We had one coyote attack after the llamas arrived, but the ram survived.

I found your blog through Facebook. If you'd like to check out my blog, you can see how we've dealt with predator problems.

Gizmo said...

So sorry to hear about Rocky. A dog friend in CA has a Pyr to guard her Pugs from hawks/eagles.

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