Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicken Girl Problem # 3 Predators

Chicken Girl Problem #3


Good Afternoon Everyone!
Since my last chicken girl problem was dealing with death I figured I should go back to the topic of predators. I know I briefly talked about it on my last post but it is so very important that I feel I need to go over it again. is literally my favorite website for anything & everything chicken! I recently read a post that was put on a forum and it goes over in detail what every kind of predator will go after and how you can figure out who is stealing your chickens or trying to. This is the link Poultry Predators this forum helped me understand what I was going up against and how I could try to fix it.

I understand that some people like to be a bit more aggressive when it comes to revenge for their killed chickens but that is not the way I like to operate. However, for those of you that do here is another link that talks about state/federal laws on eliminating hawks or owls. It is important to keep in mind that laws will be different in every state so it is important to do more research if you don't find your answer on this forum. To Eliminate or Leave alone?

Because of our recent hawk attack our chickens are no longer able to free range all day long. Instead after working a 10 hour day I come home to sit in the yard and let my chickens free range from anywhere to 1-3 hours. I honestly think the more time the better but if that cannot be done then an hour would be great for there overall health. I couldn't imagine being stuck inside all day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Death of a Loved One

Chicken Girl Problem #2


One of the things that I have always hated about having pets is that eventually they do have to die. However, sometimes its nice to know that when a pet dies it is because of natural causes and that they had lived a wonderful life before their time was up. Its kind of a different situation when a pet is taken from you before its time was due. I guess my issue is that I have never had a pet long enough to have it die on me, besides the occasional fish death.

Septemeber 10 that all changed for me when I came home to find my sisters and mom surrounded by the baby chickens outside! However, they aren't really babies since they are 15 wks now but they are 7 wks younger then our older group of chickens. My family told me a story of how a hawk payed a visit to our chickens today while they were outside free ranging. Unfortunately, the hawk was able to get one of our chickens and we could not save her. Her name was Buttercup and she was the most beautiful, fluffiest, sweetest golden bantam ever and she was be deeply missed.

The hardest part of Buttercup passing away was telling my boyfriend mostly because this was his favorite chicken and he truly loved her with all of his heart. My boyfriend is an animal lover by nature so honestly any kind of animal death is very hard for him to handle. I couldn't blame him though because I had a really hard time dealing with this as well. For me it was because I felt like I had let my children down because I wasn't there to protect them from this predadtor. We literally have never seen a hawk in all of the months that these chickens have been free ranging. It really caught all of us off guard but it was a great lesson learned.

Just because you do not see a predator does not mean he/she is not there. Hawks are very good at what they do and it is mostly because of their outstanding eye sight and great hunting skills. This terrible event has helped us become more cautious and aware of the surroundings in the environment. Another positive aspect is that only one of our chickens passed away out of our original 30. We do have a crippled chicken Hops which I mentioned in a previous post and it would have been even more devasting if he passed as well. I am sad about the death of Buttercup but glad that is all that it was if that Hawk had wiped out more of our flock it would have been even more difficult to handle. 

The one thing that saved the rest of the chickens though is that they had an adequate amount of space to hide and our reaction time to saving them and throwing rocks at the hawk helped to get him out of the yard.

So everyone please be very careful with your flocks of chickens and be very diligent about looking out for them. Predators will catch you off guard and kill all of your chickens if they can. It can help to you so be prepared.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

They Grow Up So Fast

Before I knew it I no longer had 26 chirping babies but instead I had a group of young toddlers who were up to causing trouble! 

However, they make up for it in how adorable they are! This little girl Speckle was a sweetheart from the beginning and loved to cuddle!

Cream-sicle and the others loved to eat watermelon and it really is a great treat that helps them stay hydrated in the hot summer! They also love eating grapes, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries! You also cannot forget yogurt and rice! They are not shy at all when it comes to trying new food.

Unfortunately, I am the mother to a special chicken named Hops. He was always a very fun loving chicken that would "hop" on your hand when you would play with the chickens. However, one day we noticed that Hops could not walk very well and was having a hard time standing up. What we found out was that Hops had been born with a defected hock joint. The hock is the back of the chickens leg, to the naked eye its the ball on the back of the chickens leg. The growth plate in that joint was off to the right side of where it should be. This was causing Hops tendon to not be able to stay in place. Therefore, this rendered Hops right leg to be useless.

$200 later I had an x-ray and some tape around this little guys leg to hopefully fix it! Unfortunately, it did not do anything which as the vet had told me what could happen. We put another splint on but this time he used a popsicle stick, cotton balls, and more tape! We hoped that this would do the trick this time but unfortuantely it did not do anything! After a month of going back and forth to the vet and draining my savings account the vet informed me that all I could do is give Hops the best life and hope for the best. That is exactly what I have been doing and he is doing great now! His leg is still very much deformed but he has grow up so much and can get around on his own.

I am really hoping that he continues to do well and is able to live a wonderful and happy life! I would like to conclude with that this was probably the hardest chicken girl problem that I have run into so far!

Chicken Girl Problem #1