Tuesday, January 8, 2013

More dead ducks and missing chickens

I like my new job with the exception of  the hours.  I actually work less hours than my old job, even with the 3 hour a day commute added in, but this job doesn't give me the flexibility to work at home.  This means that I leave before the sun comes up and I get home after the sun goes down.  Sure it's only four days a week but for those four days I really have no idea what is going on around the property.

I ask the grand kids to check on things but they don't do the greatest of jobs.  I know they are young so I can't rely on them to do a whole lot on those four days.  After all, they still have to get their homework done and even play a little.  I am out of town for the next few days and they are being watched by the 18 year old grandson.  He's not really reliable in doing farm chores.  Today I did give the kids a task.

After they finished their homework I wanted them to give the chickens and ducks in the front pasture some grain in the small pen area.  I wanted them to catch all the chickens and ducks and put them all into the chicken coop.  That will not go over well with the chickens in the chicken coop but at this point in time it's our last resort. 

This morning I didn't have to leave before dark since I had to go to Los Angeles.  I saw a dead duck in the front pasture and a bunch of feathers in the front lawn and also in the pasture.  I counted the live ducks.  Three.  We started off the fall with 11.  How about the chickens?  There were 11 of them too.  Now there are six.  So into the coop they go. 

My experiment of putting the fowl in the front pasture to save on feed costs is a failure.  I asked a biologist friend if  the falcons that nested on my front porch last year would come back and nest again, and if they would kill the fowl and leave it on the ground.  His response was yes, they would kill them but not leave them, unless they were too heavy to carry off.  They'd expect to come back and pull the meat off. But I was getting to the carcass first on the chickens and ducks that they left.  So the fowl has to get locked up.  No more free range for them.  It's going to cost more in feed so I'm going to have to be more serious about the number of chickens and ducks I keep.  

My new supervisor offered to lend me a new Reconyx camera to try to capture the falcons on camera.  I'm going to take him up on the offer.  This means I'll leave a couple of the fowl out front to lure the birds back.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  

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