This started out as a really nice morning and up until about 1:30 when Vicki looked out the window and saw Princess running out at the hen house. We went out quickly and called her in, but there wasn’t a chicken in sight. We put her in the house and went out to look around and immediately found a chicken laying against the flower bed just off the steps. As I picked her up, I could tell she was in shock and bleeding badly from a puncture wound near her wing and back which made me fear that she had a punctured lung. There was bright red blood at the sight of the wound. Vicki got the stop-blood powder and saturated the area with peroxide and then applied the blood-stop powder. We then put her in a milk crate in the brooding house to rest quietly as continued to look for injured chickens. I found one kicking behind the brooding house and Vicki found one dead in the hen house outside run area. I found another dead one behind the old shed beside the brooding house too. Later, I found the little Bantam lying dead in the yard by the hen house. After getting rid of the dead birds, we checked the injured one in the brooding house, but it had died too. We started looking to see how Princess had gotten out and I found a large hole near the ground that Casey Mae had chewed in the lattice between the pool deck and the lower deck, and Princess squeezed through the hole and went under the deck to the corner where there was a hole she could come out into the yard from. We immediately started fencing off the underside of the pool deck and boarded up every opening any dog could get into and placed chicken wire across all the lattice work panels left to stop any chewing. Now there is no place for the dogs to escape, but it was unfortunate that five nice birds had to die to find those holes in the fence. We think something has been singling out some of the birds, because Vick mentioned that it has been a long time since we saw the two Araucana chickens that looked like eagles, you know, the ones we called Mademoiselle Eaglet and Monsieur Eaglet. I agreed that it has been a very long time since I’ve seen those birds. Perhaps that’s why our egg production has fallen off some time ago. Perhaps the good layers have been plucked off by that damned hawk over time. Well, I know what has to be done in that case. All I have todo is catch him here like last Monday the 15th, when he swooped down to three feet off the ground right in front of me to grab a chicken in the yard. I was looking right at him when he came in under the trees to grab one, but I yelled and swung my arms and ran back and forth toward him like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone when he used the after shave lotion. He flew up into the tree and then across the yard into the woods and into a pine tree next to the field back behind the house.
Vicki got on the phone and called Herman’s wife and asked if they were getting rid of any more of their layer hens and she said yep. If we were interested……. Just come on down and get em…….. So we did…… and just got home with about a dozen or better new chickens to supplement our loss today. Now I gotta tell ya this time wasn’t as eventful as last time when everyone there was drunk, but it was still a bit interesting. Anyway…… we’re home and the chickens are away and tomorrow is another day.