Do bad things really happen in threes? At this point I hope it's true...
Abby and Ryan did their usual sprint down the driveway when we went outside around noon yesterday and chased a hawk from the blackberry bushes next to the driveway. Wait...a hawk on the ground? I knew that was very very bad for our chickens. Sure enough, SoZH had squeezed himself through the fence, in what I guess was an attempt to get away from the hawk, but he wasn't fast enough. The hawk had started to eat him alive and we were too late to save him. I jumped over the fence and picked him up (he half jumped into my arms...he was the cutest and tamest little/big chick) and we had to quickly kill him.
We had seen that damn hawk almost every day and a friend of ours guessed that he was targeting our chickens - she was right. There really isn't much you can do about a hawk going after free ranging birds - even after locking them in for a few weeks people have had attacks again, after letting the birds back out. We don't want to stop our chickens from free ranging. It seems that maybe the hawks will only be a problem in the winter (fingers crossed) when they're hungrier. Today we moved our 6 smaller/older birds into the greenhouse (and, let's face it - the 6 that I'm the most attached to. Except Magpie. She refused to stay in the greenhouse. She's so fast and flighty though that I hope she is ok outside).
Happy and spoiled in the greenhouse (with electronetting off but blocking lettuce and garlic).
The second solution was to hire Hawksley to work on the farm.
As your keen eyes may be able to tell...Hawksley is, in fact, a scarecrow made from some old clothes, a plastic bag head and a hat. The two most brilliant dogs in the world are waiting for Hawksley to throw their ball. They also brought him their frisbee and Ryan has greeted him like a long lost friend every time we've gone outside. I'll put the video of them with Hawksley up as soon as I get a chance.
Off to buy some Blue Kote spray for May's infected horn bud. We thought it had been healed for months but it's all red and scabby again.