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I awakened Tuesday morning to find something bad had happened in the night.feathers1

I walked into one of our chicken coops and noticed a LOT of feathers near the watering founts.   I thought, “Ut ohs” as I searched the coop for blood or a chicken body.   The hens were very nervous and I could feel the fear in the air.

I kept hearing, “Check the runner” in my spirit so I exited the coop and looked down the runner.  Sigh … there she was.   Some culprit had come in the night, entered under the fence in the big pen, made its way down the runner into the coop, and had taken its victim.   The strange thing is — it didn’t eat much of the hen and there was no blood.

Do any of you chicken owners know what it could have been? 

We have a trap set, but whatever it was hasn’t come back.

It is my own fault.  I didn’t close off where then hens enter the runner from the big pen and I didn’t lock the door that exits TO the runner from the coop.  It has been like this since January and we haven’t had any problems.  It certainly is more of a pain to go lock them in each night, but since I gave away the rooster, I need to be a better guardian.   Poor little hens.   Needless to say, I have been locking the coop each night!

On a happier note, one of my younger hens is laying an egg now!   I know which one it is since she is the bigpen3only one who does that submission squat when I pet her.  (I believe it is this hen pictured to the left.  She is a Buff Orpington.)  This silly hen didn’t want to lay in a nest!   She would sit on an old chair that I have in her coop and lay the egg there.  The eggs would roll off of the chair and onto the floor (and have yet to break, thankfully).   I outsmarted her yesterday by putting a crate on top of that chair with hay it in (yes, a makeshift nest).  IT WORKED!

I walked out this morning to find an egg nestled in the hay!    Here is the lovely crate nest I made and if you look closely, you can find a little brown egg.  Maybe each day I will move the chair closer to the actual nesting boxes.

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Watch out … fluffy bottom alert!

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My garden is dust at this point with all of this heat, so I went to the farmer’s market and bought a bunch of cucumbers to pickle.   (This is my second batch of pickles for the summer.)   Saturday was pickling day!  I made more Bread and Butter pickles and I also made some Kosher Dill pickles for the first time.  I haven’t tasted them yet, but I hope they are good!

pickles

That is about all I have to share from the farm this week.

Here are a couple of additional pics for your viewing pleasure.  If you’d like to see more farm posts, please click on the Homestead Barn Hop button and the Farmgirl Friday button at the bottom of this post.

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Have an awesome day!