Saturday, November 11, 2006

Close Call with the Chicken Angel of Death

When Anthony came home from picking up Colin from school on Friday, this is what he saw:

A huge red-tailed hawk sitting on our back fence. Looking at our chickens, with visions of KFC in his head.

To give you some idea how big he was, the boards on the compost bins in front of him are 6 inches across. He was at least 14 inches likely 16 inches tall.

Anthony took these pictures and a short video of him flying away, then checked on our little flock.

We have 5 hens. He saw 2 huddled against the fence. The other 3 seemed gone. Anthony looked around awhile, then finally found 2 huddled inside their nesting box.

Still one hen missing, the "blonde" one.

Under our bamboo bush, Anthony spied a lot of feathers. Then he saw the bird, huddled, still, under the bush. Like Lazarus she got up when he went towards her, and hurried home. In the chicken yard with her mates, she ate and made contented chicken noises. Anthony checked her out, and saw that one of her wings was hurt, but she seemed more stressed being handled than anything, so he left her alone. We figure the hawk must have tried to fly off with her, but she was a little too big and too fiesty, and she slipped his talon grasp.

By the time I got home, it was dark. The chickens go to bed as soon as the sun sets. They act comatose at night, just like in that movie "Chicken Run." So I let her sleep and didn't check her until this morning. She was active and eating, and her lacerations practically unnoticable. I gave her a shot of antibiotics into her breast (biggest muscle mass on a bird, like our gluteus maximus) and told her, "Have a nice day! Watch out for raptors!"


A.Norma said...

Cripes! Jennifer,little Blondie had a narrow escape,huh? We watched the Video and no wonder the chickens were huddled together!! that bird would scare me..:o( glad it all turned out ok.

Anonymous said...

Now that the hawk knows where the local "live" KFC is located you can bet he will be back. Time to put chicken wire over the coup. Steve

Lisa said...

Ooh! Close call! I'm glad nobody died. I really enjoyed helping you clip their wings the last time we visited. Thanks for letting me! SO, does this mean you have to put a cover over their enclosure?

Leah said...

You had me at the edge of my seat. I am glad that the "blonde" one is ok.

Anonymous said...

"Have a nice day! Watch out for raptors!" is what I say when I drop my kids off at school. will be now.