Living on a farm is our biggest dream come true (well more mine than Poppa’s). It comes with great responsibility. Responsibility for the health of the animals which provide us with food, entertainment and a greater understanding of living things. The hardest part of that responsibility is when the circle of life comes knocking on your barn door and you answer.
In the past two weeks we have lost 2 of our chickens to a huge owl which has been stalking the chicken coop from the trees above and even sitting on the very top of the coop at times. The first chicken we lost not even being aware that such a predator was in our midst. Our chickens are released from the coop early in the morning after they are fed and then they naturally migrate back to the coop at dusk and by the time we go to lock them in they are patiently waiting at the door. The owl waits until they are getting back into the coop and then swoops down to get his dinner.
The second time he actually took the chicken as Ronnie was putting her down onto the ground. She came running in screaming after coming into such close contact with this predator. When you have animals you have to be ahead of the animals that want a meal. They only have to get lucky one time so we try to stay on our toes but sometimes it is inevitable. The only alternative would be to keep them cooped up all their lives and I just can’t do that. We are now coming up with a plan for the brood we will raise in the spring.
The adventures never really are very far on a farm as we find all the time. Last night, Alex came to visit and called me from the driveway. She said the owl was standing next to her car and she did not want to scare it before Poppa could get a good look at it. Why would it be sitting on our front lawn?? It was not even scared of her car as it came up the driveway. Two seconds later, my little ones came running downstairs to tell us that a little bird had flown upstairs. The girls managed to catch the bird and that is when we put two and two together. The owl had chased the little bird in front of our house and seeing the front door open, the little bird had flown inside to safety. You could clearly see where it caught an owl talon to the head but we kept it overnight for observation and this morning it was released.
Sometimes, we get to save a little creature, even if it was not one that we feel responsible for.
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