Monday, February 06, 2006

Steel yourselves

The Steelers may have been victorious yesterday, but Jememiah, the black hen, faithful mother of six and hen to Kenneth, did not meet with such sucess against her opponents. Two marauding pointers entered the supposed safety and shelter of Cloud Ranch and took life from both her and her hatching chicks.
Then there were three. Or at least I think; I haven't seen Kenneth and the two remaining hens this morning yet. I'm holding my breath. Life is suddenly much quieter on the ranch, and lonelier. As my book "Life with Backyard Chickens" says, they provide a certain kind of companionship to life. I agree.
Life and death are a part of the life cycle here on the farm. Travis and I saw the two dogs running up and down the canal earlier before church. We put them back outside the fence before we left but came home from church to find the two dogs chomping away at something in their mouths. I called the dog and opened its mouth only to find a baby chick inside its mouth. We searched the oleanders and we found Jememiah dead and further towards the house, a collection of chewed eggs with almost full grown baby chicks inside. That explains why she's been missing these past two weeks from the flock.
So we will have babies on the farm this month, but not by natural methods. I'm going to finish the chicken coop and try and get some new baby chicks from Higley Feed and Seed to augment the recent losses by the end of the week. Life goes on.

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