Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tough Tuesday



Tuesday morning was anything but calm. The cold weather is still making early morning bottles a bone chilling event. Everyone at the farm is getting worn down with this weather and not excited to start our mornings. Added to the slower then cold molasses body of this gal today I needed to get things done early because the insurance claim guy was to come and see if my roof on the house was to be replaced.


As I was trying to get everyone ready for the day I heard silence on my farm - NEVER a good sign. I looked out the window in my office upstairs and saw a coyote chasing one of the chickens. I ran down stairs. Just as I pulled the shop door open and ran outside and ran right into the coyote with a bird in it's jaws. I without thinking kicked the coyote in the side. That moved him about 8 inches to the side while he dropped the chicken for just a matter of seconds and before I could grab the chicken to saftey the coyote snatched it back into his mouth and again took off running. I had not remembered that I was in what I call my "city shoes" which are not made to walk on uneven ground let alone take out at a full run. None the less this frighten Mom was going after my baby. I was right behind that nasty beast and I could hear the screams of my feathered family member. I lost them in the low brush of scrub oak and it went down the steep, rocky hillside before I could go the long way down there. I searched and searched for them stopping only to be still to hear if I could locate it moving in the forest. Nothing! It was as if they vanished into thin air.

I scrambled up the side of the hill in those stupid shoes and realized that several times I had twisted my right ankle. Yep, the one that I have broken three times... As I limped back to the house I was just sick with grief.. I got back in front of the house and the hens where running around in their house screaming and clucking... As I walk towards them to calm them down there was bunches of feathers laying all over the ground. I took a clear look at them and figured out the lost feathery family member was a ROO!!! The loss of any animal is not O.K. with me but I did breath a little easier - IT WAS NOT ONE OF THE GIRLS!!!

I went and got a basket and started picking up the feathers while talking to the girls. Luckily that morning I closed the door on the coup because the roo's kept trying to get in and eat the feed. They have a horrible habit of chasing the girls all around while gobbling up their expensive laying feed so I have started a program of feeding and watering the girls and tied up the side that does not have a screen on it. Thus, the girls get their breakfast and the boys have to go back to their barn and eat their feed - much less expensive yet great feed. So I have to thank the Roo's for their greed in feed - it is what saved my girls from slaughter...

As for the Roo who lost his life it is sad but it turned out to be the one who was the meanest. The one who went after me and had several times got knocked across the barn after flying at me with those sharp as knives toe nails.... So I guess his Karma Pay Back Hit...

However, this meant we now have a predator who has gotten a meal here and that is never good. Last night I moved the dogs, moved the llamas and kept a watch overnight. Yep, no sleep worth speaking about but very much needed if all were to be safe. This morning just as the fog lifted and the dew was still wet on the grass my dogs started getting antsy and I could see my two year old billies form a circle in their pasture and stand as still as statues.. I knew something was a foot. I slipped downstairs putting on my boots and grabbing my Shepard's Hook I quitely turned the knob on the shop door. As I crept out the door and slowly inched thru the panel I watch my Sophie huntch into her attack posture.. Just then I saw three coyotes creeping out of the forest and walking in the open tall grass. The remaining Roo's have gotten smarter - they ran to the billies and stood inside the circle. Just then I gave the whistle that the farm animals know as "ALARM" and the dogs sprang into action. As the dogs started their barking and lunging the llama's came a running, screaming at the top of their lungs and there was I running full force with my Shepard's hook in hand while yelling in the most aggressive way this gal can. They took off running like their tails where on fire but this only spoke to the continued watch that this farm will be on till they either get shot or move on.

Life is never dull when you live in the "Wild, Wild, West" - Get out the six shooter, check the sights on the riffle and start the coffee maker...

5 comments:

Jane said...

I keep thinking maybe the Roo threw himself between the girls and the coyote to save them. The meanest roos make the best protectors. Poor guy. Just another thing to have to worry about for you. I hope the coyotes move on.

Sheri said...

The coyotes have been singing here too and close. Must be the full moon. I hope they move on soon. Sorry about the roo but happy for you that it wasn't one of the girls. You sure have had your plate full this year.

monica said...

Grace, I am sorry to hear about Roo!
I am glad that it was not one of the girls!:)

larkspur funny farm said...

Thanks ladies - coyotes are howling this morning as the rain and fog blanket the farm - perfect cover for them to come in so all is working hard to watch over the smaller folks at the farm....

PenCraft said...

I agree with Jane. It's the meanest roosters that are the best protectors of the flock--and therefore the first to be eaten. Here, it's fox that go after the chickens. They are very difficult to combat. Electric fence was the only solution I could come up with.