Finishing the chicken yard….and pics

Recently we’ve had something showing up in the middle of the day and snatching chickens. It comes in fast and is gone even before the dogs can react. Seems to be after mostly white birds. I guess they’re easier to see. After the guineas gave the alarm the other day I managed to get out there and whatever it was dropped the hen and ran. It grabs them by the head. I found her on her back and thought she was dead. She had some blood coming out of her mouth and blood filling one eye but she was alive. I put her in a basket with some straw and she is fine except for wanting to keep that injured eye closed. We found where one had been caught and it looked like the head had been sliced off with a knife. Any ideas what might do that? I still haven’t done a count to figure out exactly how many are missing.

We started working on the yard for the birds when we first moved here but there were so many of them I hated to confine them and with so many other things needing done it was shoved to the back burner.

Michael and Clifford finishing the yard. It needed one strip of wire to complete the top and the boards along the bottom to attach the wire to.

Day one.

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Day two. Time to finish all but the bottom strip so the birds could get back into their house for the night. Clifford loves to help Dada.

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Sorry gang. Last day of freedom!

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At some point in the not too distant future we plan on expanding the yard to about double the current size. We will also let them out in the evenings when we’re outside.

We’re getting between 14 and 19 eggs a day now! This is what 19 eggs look like.  :D  So many nice colors.

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The biggest and smallest for the day.

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New bread. I know, I know. Funny looking. Very easy and so good. I’ll do a post!  :)

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I have more pictures and another post or two but this is probably enough for now.I’ll leave you with another fantastic sunset from my place to yours.

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Have a great day and God bless!

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29 thoughts on “Finishing the chicken yard….and pics

  1. Skunks and racoons will eat the head only because it contans the most protein. They leave the body in tact. If you have a live trap you can catch the preditor and take care it.

  2. Granny Eklund says:

    Blessings to you and your family…I love hearing about you…Thank you so much…GRANNY

  3. Sonny Jobe says:

    Typically head hunters afe from raccoons.

  4. After rereading the post I realize I wasn’t clear. The head was left and the body taken.

  5. bob says:

    If it is a skunk you should be able to smell that one was there so my guess is raccoon, time to make some raccoon hats for the kids. I must say ya”ll do have some pretty sunsets. Nice eggs, I wonder if the large one is a double yoker, it does not look quite long enough though. I love it when I see a son working along side his dad, Thanks for the pics.

  6. Hmmm. Daylight, too. My first guess would be raccoon, the MO certainly fits. Other options might be mink or a fisher. The enclosed run should foil the critter anyway – looks good!

  7. Ungrateful wretches – if they only knew.

  8. Crissy Stout says:

    I sure do miss you all! This site is wonderful! Thanks for inviting me to follow. Clifford has grown so tall! I always enjoyed getting Easter eggs all year long…so pretty! Love to all! Crissy Stout

  9. We miss you, too. I’m currently sitting with a sprained ankle. Not much fun but after 2 days I’m able to put a little weight on it. Clifford is now Dada’s official helper. And my little girls are turning into young women. Where does the time go?

  10. cecilia says:

    how nasty, hopefully the run will keep whatever it is out.. aren’t the guineas good at sounding the alarm, ours only yell when there is a hawk though! Do you have a dog missy? Often dogs scare off predators like that. If you have an old battery powered radio pop that in the coop too, most wild animals hate the sound of the human voice. Hope your ankle gets better soon. there is nothing worse than not being able to do all you intend.. c

    • The guineas are great. We actually have 2 dogs and they’re pretty good to notice when something is wrong but whatever it is is FAST! We haven’t had any trouble since we penned them up but they aren’t very happy and I’m having trouble with them eating eggs! :( The ankle is much better although I really have to be careful and it makes it hard to go tramping up and down the woods looking for ramps. That’s for a post though!

  11. katmando1955 says:

    Love all the pics! Especially the ones of Mike and Little Clifford. You two are doing such a good job of raising your children. I know that the work is hard, but you have the satisfaction that you are teaching 5 children the important things in life! I am so proud of all of you!

  12. Eric says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I just found your comment today. And to answer your question, we have finally welcomed our first calf into the world! Both mama and baby are doing well.

    Hey, I really have enjoyed looking back over your posts this evening! We have very much in common, it seems, and I think your family and mine would probably get along pretty well together. Too bad we’re not neighbors!

    Looking forward to your future posts!

    God bless you!

    • I’ve been hopping in for a visit to your blog for several months now. Nice calf. Hope all is well. I agree it’s too bad we’re not neighbors. We have been here 6+ months and we’re finally starting to meet some of our neighbors here.

  13. If you put meat or dog food in the trap, yes, you will get cats. Try putting a strawberry or a crumpled ball of foil to get racoons. They like pretty shiny things and strawberries. Cats won’t bother strawberries in a trap.

    I let my chickens out for about 3-12 hours each day. They crave green things to eat. I cannot stand to see them pace.

    What is in the bag your son is carrying on his shoulder?

    • Thanks for the suggestions. What bothers me so much was that it was right in the middle of the day and we have 2 dogs that are pretty good about noticing anything that comes around. We are surrounded by woods so that makes for a quick get away. We also have hawks but at least 2 birds were carried off through the woods. I know they miss getting out and I miss the free feed they get by being out! The bag had screws they were using to fasten boards together.

  14. Crissy Stout says:

    Happy Easter to a very special family…..you are surely missed! Prayers that your sprained ankle is all better, Missy! Tell the girls I found dandelions in the yard this week! I still have some they picked and presented to me….pressed inside my Bible! Love to all!

  15. I’m sorry to hear about your chickens. :( We’ve had possums kill ours, they seem to like eating the head off or biting the throat and drinking the blood. But the don’t usually come around in the middle of the day unless they are really hungry.

    Love the color of your eggs! Mine are mostly brown right now. I miss having more green, tan, pinkish and white for good measure. :)

  16. I forgot to tell you, I’d love to have you link up you post to The HomeAcre Hop on Thursday!

  17. Katharina says:

    It’s hard to truly raccoon-proof. I have a layer of chicken wire OVER 2×4 heavy duty fencing. And I’m installing electric fencing around my new tractor, because nothing else would seem safe to me, for such a flimsy structure. Chicken keeping is fraught with drama sometimes…..http://thisonegoodlife.blogspot.com/2013/05/no-rainbows-or-unicorns.html has my latest story about that… Hope the new yard is working out beautifully!

  18. It worked great for keeping them safe, but….they all started eating eggs. I turned them loose again! I went from getting 30+ eggs a day to 8-10 on a good day. The break having them closed up seems to have convinced our predator to move on. I did end up having to butcher one of my layers who started back in eating eggs again. I really hate that.

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