Been an interesting couple of weeks – temps in the single digits, three days in a row of below freezing, frozen water lines, and 5-plus inches of snow. All that snow is now melting and water is standing on top of the ground everywhere. Total slop.
Wednesday night, with all the snow, Levi came down the stairs around 12:15 a.m. and said he was going to go check on his chickens. I went with him.
We were just about to go into the greenhouse to check on the 70 5-week broiler chicks and 85 4-week-old future laying hens when there was a huge flash. We could see to the southeast, the reflection of lights from the town of Albemarle, and saw three or four explosions, which I am assuming were transformers frying.
We went to check on Levi’s hens and they were fine, and then we went to check on one of his hens that had gone rogue and hatched out three chicks in one of our old chicken wagons. She had lost two of the chicks to predators and was down to one. When we looked in the wagon, she was dead from what looked like a hawk attack sometime that day. The head was still attached, so it was not an owl. Her body was still there, only slightly eaten, so it was not a fox, coon, possum or coyote. We looked for the chick but could not find it.
Levi found the lost chick from the dead hen Thursday morning and brought it back to the house. Our two cats, Sweet Pea and Hazel, eyed it as prey and both proceeded to jump on the firewood pile to observe from above. The chick hopped up on the woodpile, and snuggled down between the two cats, which the cats found highly offensive and left.
Friday night, Levi and I carried the chick over to the greenhouse and put it in with some other chickens.
Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield; firstname.lastname@example.org.