Food & Drink

Chicken mingling has its ups and downs

Dean Mullis
Dean Mullis jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

That whole deal on bringing all the chickens together has yielded mixed results.

Levi’s small flock all migrated back to its old coop. Monday morning we re-located the chicken wagon farther down the pasture and relocated his flock back into the wagon.

Tuesday morning was a bloodbath: One-Eye the rooster had kicked the crap out of Dapper Dan. He is on the back porch recovering, and Levi brings him in the house during the heat of the day.

We have not seen Chester the rooster since last Friday, although I though I heard a rooster crow early Wednesday morning down in the woods while lying in my Clark hammock. I strung it up this week between a crabapple and dogwood tree beside the green house. Sleeps like a dream.

I have been catching a few chickens every night that migrate 150 yards back to their old coops; three to four of Levi’s chickens and two Barred Rocks.

Thursday night, I went to shut up the chickens and shined the flashlight into Levi’s coop and saw four hens sitting on “their” roosts.

I had been catching them and carrying them back to their new home, but three nights in a row they still don’t get it. I let them be.

Friday morning, there were a pile of feathers next to that coop and two dead chickens with puncture marks but not eaten.

It’s puzzling: Most predators eat their prey. The only thing we can figure is stray dogs, which we have not seen any of; juvenile coyotes learning how to hunt; or maybe the chupacabra has moved north.

Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield; demullis@vnet.net.

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