So far we haven’t experienced last year’s hawk problems. But a couple of weeks ago, our neighbor warned us that he’d seen a pair of hawks with 2 babies in a nest near our fenceline. So when this batch of chickens went out to the pasture this past weekend, Ike went with them.
Like last year, he cries when I go to leave him in the pen in the morning. But as soon as I’m out of sight he seems to settle into his role of chicken protector. When I return in the late afternoon, this is the scene:
Notice how his butt is touching the electric poultry netting. All of that hair insulates him, apparently. Good thing he’s a good dog and doesn’t challenge the fence.
This afternoon while I was out there I saw the hawk circling overhead.
It circled, and screeched. A most eery sound. It reminded me of the Wicked Witch of the West. “I’ll get you, my pretty! And your little chickens, too!”
It finally landed on top of a power pole for a bit, then took off towards our house. It circled up there a bit then headed back, presumably, to its nest.
As I watched it I thought to myself, I’ll bet it’s been snacking on ducklings. Sure enough. The 2 ducks I’d tracked down in the pasture a couple weeks ago showed up near the chicken coop when I was picking up eggs. The one that had 6 ducklings was down to 5. Not too bad, really. But the one that had 10 ducklings was down to 1.
Hawks. The nemesis of our pastured poultry operation.
3 years ago: