I rounded the corner of the house and headed for the angora rabbitry building. I noticed a huge amount of feathers on the ground near where the chicken roost at night, then I knew the cause of these chickens absence. A predator had entered the chicken pen during the night. There were rooster feathers all over the place. I do know Dinner had not gone peacefully, but had put up a fight. No bodies, not much blood, but loads of feathers littered the ground.
We are still not sure what predator got the hens and rooster. Needless to say, Whitie and the hens have abandoned their newly built coop and are back on the front porch for the time being. They are safer. We'll clean up the mess after we build a proper enclosed area for the chickens this spring.
A couple of days later, Mel was bringing in one of the Jersey Woolie, Ebony, to groom and she noticed Whitie harassing a hen to walk to the other hens so he could protect them. The bird was obviously injured and hobbled on one leg with the other tucked tucked up under her. She was using her right wing as a crutch. Mel filled a milk crate with straw, placed the hen in it, and brought it inside. She now has a permanent spot by our wood stove.
After checking her out, we found no cause for her leg being drawn up. No obvious breaks or wounds. It might be muscular which time may heal. Her comb is a ragged mess and you can see where feathers have been stripped of their fluffy bits around her head. We figured she survived the attack and went into hiding under the house and hunger brought her out. For now, I'm calling her Gimpy. I know cruel, right? But it's true. Whether she survives or not is still up in the air. All we can do is hope. She just might be able to join Whitie and the other hens again.
Meanwhile, Mel cut a little too deeply while grooming Ebony. Rabbits have tissue paper fine skin. It resulted in a rather large cut on her shoulder. We are tending to it with an antibiotic ointment. She's been placed in the dog crate in the living room. She'll get the preferential treatment until she heals.
Mel was doing dishes and I was at my computer last evening when she looked around the corner of the short wall that divided us, We're running an animal house!"
Three of five cats were on the breakfast table because it's next to the wood stove, the border terrier, Herbie, was under my feet, and Nnyus, the pit bull, was lying on the kitchen floor. Plus the chicken by the wood stove, the rabbit in the living room, and two other cats lazing on the back of the couch. "We can move out and let them have it," she said.
I responded, "Sure we could, but none of their houses would fit us. We wouldn't be the Cockeyed Homestead, if things were normal, would we?"
We both had a good chuckle about that.
|Amy on the left|
I have been researching the raising of quail on our homestead. Now that the angoras have been moved to their official home, our angora rabbitry, we have empty cages outside. It would be another meat source for us. I was talking with Jason at the Big Bear Homestead, and he raises Cortunix quails. He has offered to hatch half a dozen for us in the spring. They are easy to butcher, clean and are delicious! So stay tuned to our YouTube channel for further updates on this.
|I kinda like this one with additions|
Anyhow that's my plan. Mel may have other ideas. That's it for this week. As always,
"Y'all have a blessed day."