Friday, April 29, 2005

Inauspicious




I woke up cold at 4 a.m.

The cover was at the foot of the bed, and on my way back down I made the mistake of thinking about chickens.




Last night another hen was missing, this time a Buff Orpington.

I started thinking about the phrase cooped up, and wondered how hot they'd get if I just left them in there all day.

My sinus headache and I kept silent vigil until the alarm went off at 5:20.

17 comments:

Magazine Man said...

Were you projecting that sinus headache and your worry over the chickens? I had THE most crushing headache yesterday and all I could think about was...chickens.

Sorry to hear about the missing poultry. I should send my dad down. He'd stake out that coop all night (only thing is, he'd make you eat whatever he caught).

I'm still laughing over the "Bigfoot quality" photos yesterday. It's just the perfect phrase to describe virtually all photos of my kids...

Charles said...

So, what is the solution to this?

Hick said...

Is there anything you can do about this? Sounds like it is becoming a habit with those nasty coyotes.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

How much area do the chickens use outside of the coop? Can it be effectively fenced to keep the coyote out? Is that even a reasonable possibility? It's either keep the coyote out, or... well, some other less pleasant fate for the predatory varmint.

megabethcom said...

Awwww, poor little chickies. They are so dumb yet cute.

roger said...

coyotes are not a protected species and are plainly not losing ground population-wise. and you have one that knows where the chicken cafeteria is.

just sayin'

more fence is good. also electric fence is good.

Maktaaq said...

Your chickens are so damned photogenic!

Rhodent said...

Love your chicken pics... Sorry you are losing them... Tell Jasmine to get it in gear!

Rurality said...

MM if you had it yesterday then you sent it to me.

Yep I'm a champion of bigfoot quality pictures. If only there were money in it...

I don't know what the solution to the coyote problem is. Today I kept the chickens in the coop most of the day.

Hubby let them out when he got home, and said that when he opened the door it was like a rock band's hotel room - chaos and pandemonium. The rooster was in the cat litter box - it had turned over and he was trapped.

I want them to be free-range, but I'm afraid some sort of fence may be in the future. It would be expensive to fence in as large an area as I'd like them to have.

The spring is the worst - I guess because the coyotes are having pups.

The chickens don't always stay together, and they go into the woods a lot. So it's tough for Jasmine... she will definitely chase off coyotes if she sees them though.

jenni said...

awww! they are so cute! i like the speckled one. you need to make calendars! call the series "Rurality".

Maktaaq said...

Yeah! A Rurality calendar! 365 days of chickens!

Dave said...

A fence-and-dog combination should keep coyotes at bay, but it won't keep out the raccoons. You better hope it *is* coyotes.

As long as chickens have access to grubs and insects it shouldn't affect the taste of the eggs. "Free-range" doesn't have to mean *completely* free. Just explain to the chickens that the increased security is necessary to protect their freedoms from the evil-doers (coyotes), who are jealous of their freedoms. :)

Rurality said...

Not sure how many people would be lining up to buy chicken calendars. :) But anyway I'm afraid that the old camera isn't sufficiently equipped, pixel-wise, for such an endeavor.

Dave you are too funny! I can see the rooster making a speech: "Chickens that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety..."

Rurality said...

An update, in case you're checking back in here: We've kept the chickens in until late afternoon, then let them out briefly before it's their bedtime.

The first day we did that, the chickens ran straight for the woods. We were standing about 10 feet from the edge.

Within 5 minutes, the chickens all came running out and Jasmine barked and ran in. We looked up in time to see the coyote dashing off. (I thought he'd gotten a chicken, but she escaped.)

Now we patrol the woods a little before letting the chickens out.

I think we'll keep this up at least as long as we have some cool days like we've been having.

We're waiting to see how much $$ is going to the man with the backhoe before we think more on a fence.

Zanne said...

I've got an idea for you. Have the city folk move out by you, buying up two acre lots and have them build $700K homes. You won't have to worry a thing about the coyotes cause when they let their little Bichon Frise doggy outside to do his business...it's instant coyote appetizer. And everyone knows that a Bichon is much tastier than a chicken!

Rurality said...

That might be happening if and when they ever get the new highway loop built. There is already a $400 - $500K housing development within a few miles. Well maybe 10 miles. Oh boy.

Zanne said...

yeah...there goes the neighborhood!