Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ice, the Hawk and Chickens!

Last night we had our first hard freeze. The pond was covered with a light sheet of ice this morning.
As you can see the pond looks terrible and is very low. That pipe shows the height of the pond when full. Oak leaves have nearly covered the surface of the pond. The leaves are nearly done falling and hopefully a good rain will sink the leaves. I can not recall seeing so many leaves on the pond.

 My last post I introduced you to our three roosters. Here are the remainder of the flock, the two hens. Above is Light Bulb, she is apparently a rock mix as you can see feathers on her legs. Below is Penquin we have no clue what type of chicken she is? Both of the hens were bought at a feed store in Wilmington by Meg's daughter and she named them.  As you might have guessed the chickens were not sexed at the time of purchase, three roosters were not intended. Neither has laid any eggs yet and they are around 6 months old.
OK, now to the hawk. This morning I let the chickens out, no problems. Came inside and made coffee and sat on the bed with Meg. Meg saw a Red-tailed Hawk perched on the bottle tree right behind the chicken yard, the chickens were out and clueless about the hawk. I attempted to get a photo, but just turning the lock handle to the back door scared away the hawk. We now have a 6 foot fence around the chickens. It seems the 4 foot fence was not enough for Stripe the rooster who wanted to help me water one of the cold frames on Friday.

And now even with the 6 foot fence two of the roosters jumped it because Chip the rooster was chasing them. Not sure what we need to do to keep them inside and safe.

Red-tailed Hawks diet is rodents and rabbits mostly. I know these hawks can take a full grown chicken. Hoping there are too many other meals out there to keep the hawk busy. We have plenty of hawks around here and two other neighbors have chickens as well.

Camellias still blooming in the garden is 'Moon Festival' above. These huge flowers are just stunning. And below is 'Leslie Ann' with these 2 inch slightly pink flowers, only 4 flowers this year, it's second year in the garden.

15 comments:

Bonnie K said...

The flowers are pretty. I would think hawks would take a chicken. They get the grouse around here. I hope not for the your sake. I love the black and white one.

sweetbay said...

Oh I love the colors of Leslie Ann. I wondered how long before the hawks and foxes showed up. Netting would keep the birds in the yard and safe, unless they have enough sense to take cover when they're out.

John said...

That is a lovely looking white/pink Camellia. Almost like someone had blended a Magnolia flower with a Camellia. I'll add 'Leslie Ann' to might list of desirables...

Indie said...

Wow, your 'Leslie Ann' is so pretty!

I didn't know chickens could fly that high. Good luck with your escape artists! I love watching hawks, but I do hope they keep away from your chickens!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Chickens! How exciting! I wonder how those three roosters will deal with two hens? Might have to find them some more girls :)
We have one that still hasn't laid an egg and she was hatched in April. You will love once you start getting those fresh eggs.
Our chickens have an enclosed run, but then we also let them out in the yard when we can. They really do mess up the beds, but they love being "free". We only let them out while we are home. We do get raccoons and neighbor cats in our yard. The occasional hawk and eagle fly over but I don't think they have enough room to swoop down and pick one up. Good luck with your newest pets!

Karen said...

Oh, chickens! And roosters. Oh, my, you are brave. You have some good-sized chickens there which is a plus as far as the hawks go. Our hens are out of their pen every day now that the gardening season is over and are completely churning over the entire garden. I have mulch scattered everywhere, it's really a disaster, lol, but they do find all sorts of pests and my hostas have had much less slug damage.

I lost a tiny Bantam hen this fall to a hawk, but the hawk wasn't able to go airborne with his kill. He did hang around in the tree for quite some time though but finally gave up. Nonetheless, I still had a dead hen. Now we're down to six hens, all bigger gals, and they are very wary, the second they see a shadow or hear a bluejay make a racket, they head for the safety of the evergreens. Hawks need to attack from above, they're actually comical on the ground. I wish I could say the same for stray dogs and of course, raccoons and opossums. I've lost hens to all of those predators, too.

I grew up with chickens on the farm and detest roosters because they are loud, constantly drive the hens (poor girls!) and can eventually become aggressive to humans. Look out for those spurs on their legs, they can do major damage. I'm surprised your roosters haven't been fighting each other, but if they were raised together, they probably have their pecking order well-established.

Sarah Christensen Fu said...

Beautiful chickens! I found your blog from a friend's Facebook page, and remembered it when I started recently working on a book called The Chicken: A Natural History.

I'd love to get in touch to see if I could mail you a copy—it seems like it's totally right for your readers and your family! I know your blog is really personal, but please do let me know if you'd like a copy to review or to work into a blog post. My email is sarah@hey-sarah.com!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Wow, just commented about a hawk on your previous post and now you say you had one in the yard. Hope the chickens stay safe.
Love your Camellias.

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

I would love it if you would join me in linking up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/clever-chicks-blog-hop-10-rural.html

I hope you can make it!
Cheers,
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick

Kerri said...

Your chickens are lovely!

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