In light of the fact we’ve lost
one two chickens to a fox recently one on the fourth and one today while I was home, Wolf and I have decided to slaughter the chickens. I know it may seem a little weird to kill the chickens and not the fox so let me explain.
We were planning all along to slaughter the chickens at daylight savings time. I didn’t really want to worry about them over the winter so we got dual purpose birds. Since the fox now knows there’s
three two more meals we know she’ll come back. We can’t be here every minute of every day to protect the chickens, and besides, my screaming at the fox hasn’t deterred her from hunting here on Howling Hill. Keeping them locked up in the coop isn’t an option because I refuse to treat my chickens like KFC does. So next week Wolf is I am taking them up to the Gitch’s for slaughter today. We’ll have some nice chicken to eat later in the year.
Next year we’ll be better prepared. First, as I stated, we’re going to put in a fence and bury it two feet into the ground. We may electrify it but I’m not sure (I’m concerned for the increase in the electric bill). Second, we’re going to get more birds, probably eight. While having more will certainly increase the likelihood of predators it won’t be so devastating to lose one or two. After all, by losing one bird this year, we lost 1/4 of our flock. Losing two means we’ve lost half the flock.
What I’m finding is this whole farming thing has a steep learning curve. We were naive to think we could free range four chickens. Doreen from Gitch’s Farm has probably 50 birds (ducks, geese, chickens, roosters) so she doesn’t lose many because the racket her farm makes when one a predator comes onto the property. Besides, since she has roosters, they protect their harem to the death. We don’t have any sort of warning like she does nor do we have a rooster.
I’m thinking of adding a rooster next year, letting him impregnate some of the chickens, then having rooster soup. I’d like to start from chicks but can’t keep them in the house because of the cats. There isn’t a place where I can lock the cats away from the chicks which is why we got full grown chickens this year.