Since we started our flock three years ago, we have been testing our problem solving skills. The biggest issue is that we are not the only ones that find our chickens and their eggs delicious. Our battle record so far consists of :
- Us vs. Fox: Victory for us. I scared it and it dropped Haver (she was tailless for awhile, but became a much nicer chicken). We completely fenced in the backyard and have only had one look in from the other side.
- Us vs. Hawk: On going battle with things leaning toward our side. In the begining she and her mate took 5 of our hens during one Christmas break. Not too long ago she tried to snatch a rooster, but dropped him as Dadabean chased after her. Fishing line is doing wonders for chicken protection.
- Us vs. Owls: Victory for us. One night we came home to 2 of them in the tree and the chicken house door open. Luckily, we had the radio at the time and it kept the owls at bay. Once we came out there they flew away. No problem since then, although Dadabean learned that the owls don’t like the sound of other owls in its territory. He mimics the cry anytime he hears one close by and it seems to drive it off.
- Us vs. Raccoons: On going battle with a recent victory for the raccoon. We had forgotten ( lot of stress going on around here) to shut the chicken house and it snatched one of the black D’uccle hens (Cookie) that was in the baby pen with Benelli and Ducati. I shut them in now and I usually have to put Benelli in, so I make sure the door is closed.
Now comes the new contender in the battle for the chickens:
This is actually the second Oak Snake I killed. I had to kill one yesterday (only it was longer than this one). I have a hard time killing anything that is not a bug (even then I get all creeped out). This is especially hard for me, because I like snakes. I was just going to shoo the one away yesterday, but realized it would be back, so I had Little Man get me the machete. So far these ones are not big enough to take an adult chicken, but we are large enough to eat eggs, baby chicks and baby wrens. Unfortunately, something got our baby wrens and we believe it was the snake. I had to deal with the one yesterday by myself due to the fact Dadabean was sleeping (getting up at 6am and getting to bed after midnight is starting to catch up with him). Today I had help:
We were alerted to the fact that it was there by the Mockingbirds that have a nest in our front yard. Mockingbirds are great due to the fact they are very territorial and protective of their nest area. They keep out squirrels (although we have one that doesn’t get the message, so he gets dive bombed everyday), cats, and will even drive off hawks. We had noticed earlier today that they had a baby in the tree. This baby can fly, but it doesn’t go far and the parents still feed it. We watched the baby and then had to go inside for awhile. Once we came back outside we took up where we left off, but noticed that the baby wasn’t there anymore. I started to notice one of the parents acting funny around the tree. It would land and then kind of fly around and fuss. Dadabean decided to go check it out and then called for his gun. After I gave him the Thompson, I went for the machete. Three shots knocked the Oak Snake out of the tree and I took over from there. We believe the baby Mockingbird moved to a different tree and the parents were just trying to harrass the snake into leaving. In fact that is what the mockers were doing yesterday when Little Man saw the snake. Little Man had gone to get the mail and when he returned to the house he told me that there was a dead snake on the driveway. He thought the mockers had killed it. When I went out to check though, it was very much alive and was trying to stay still in hopes of being left alone. The mockers hadn’t killed it, but they were sure making it wish it was somewhere else.
Us 2, Snake 0