Monday, October 19, 2009

Now Renting

I finished the new chicken house and the tenants are all moved in. If I were still a bachelor I'd be sleeping in the house with them. It's really cozy. I also wired in some branches so they'd have more places to perch. Tomorrow I'll put in another ladder. Some of the chickens tend to park on the ladder blocking traffic. One of our 6 teenage Costa Rican chicks is a runt. It's always peeping around. I think it misses its mother. The other chickens run it off when it's chow time. I'm going to build it a box and feed it in there. I'll get some special food so it can eat at its leisure and maybe catch up. In the wild it would probably just die but we want to give it every advantage. At night I always have to give it a boost so it can get into the roost. I worry over it like an old hen.

Today, about 4:30 in the afternoon, I went back out to put the finishing touches on things and when I got over by the goose pond I noticed a commotion. I thought it was one of the chickens acting rather oddly. It turned out to be a goose-size hawk. He was on the far side of the pond trying to figure out what chicken wire was. The geese and the duck were on the opposite side of the pond watching intently. The hawk was very beautiful. It had gray, black and white stripes and bright yellow legs. I edged around the pond and directed it out the way it came in. It waddled up the hill and gracefully took off. Three or four years ago another hawk showed up at the chicken pen looking for dinner. It attacked and killed a couple of baby chicks. When I got out to the pen the mother hen had it pinned up against the wire. She'd back up and then explode towards it. The hawk had little bloody spots all over it where she'd pecked it. It was on the ropes. I took off my t-shirt, covered it and took it out of the pen. The mother hen still wouldn't let up. She was so wonderfully brave. I grabbed some thick leather gloves as I passed the bodega and took the hawk down the hill. When I removed the t-shirt it perched on my hand still a bit stunned. I looked it in the eye and told it not to come back because next time I might not be there to rescue it. That one took my advise. I hope this one is as wise.

We're in the process of building an enclosure for the geese and duck so they can sleep soundly at night. I guess we'll have to speed up the building program. Goose condos coming right up. See you tomorrow. Wally

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