Monday, February 7, 2011

Possible Hawk Attack

I think we might have had a hawk try to get at the girls on Sunday.

I spent a few hours out in the garden on Sunday.  The weather was simply too nice not to be outside.  I bought a dwarf Mexican lime that I needed to plant.  I also picked up a small green house which is little more than a bunch of metal tubes stuck together with a heavy plastic cover over them.  But the weather is pretty mild where we live and I'm hoping it allows me to start my veggie seeds a few weeks earlier than I would normally.  And maybe I can grow some greens for the girls during the winter months.

I'm also going to grow more in my garden this year than I usually do now that we have chickens.  I gave up on growing squash long ago because I just couldn't keep up with it.  If you didn't go out there every other day to harvest, you would find a squash the size of a human limb that took a machete to harvest.

I'll also grow more cucumbers and I decided to grow miniature watermelons.  I'm sure the girls will appreciate a cool watermelon on a hot afternoon.  Not to mention, we will too!
So I finished my chores and went inside to get cleaned up.  I was just stepping into the shower when my husband started yelling to me that the girls were upset and to come quickly.  And I could hear them just screaming.  I've never heard them make such a ruckus.  I ran outside just terrified of what I might find and there they were, huddled in the corner of their run, next to the gate.  I could see the fear in their eyes.  But they quieted down as soon as they saw me and I got down to their eye level and spoke to them softly for a few minutes.  I didn't see any blood.  No feathers pulled.  I couldn't figure out what had happened.

Stumped, we came back into the house and the best I can come up with is that a hawk probably took a good shot at the welded wire that covers their run.  I'm not sure if it slammed into the welded wire or just landed on it.  Or if it was even a hawk at all.  But I can't think of anything else that would get them all worked up like that.

We checked up on them several more time throughout the evening and they are fine.  And if indeed it was a hawk, that solidifies my decision not to let them free range.

It was tough being in the garden watching them peer out the gate at me with those sad eyes like they'd give just about anything to be out there with me scratching and digging.  But I'm simply not willing to risk it.  I've read too many stories from others of hawks taking out one of their beloved hens right before their eyes.  So, growing extra goodies in the garden is a must this year so there are plenty of treats to keep them busy and happy while being confined to the safety of their run.

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