Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Sunday October 23, 2011

Life at Boulderwood:
Chicken Farmer Blues

Of the things I have had to come to terms with regarding farming and animal husbandry that I hate the most are animal deaths and disappearances.  This week produced a double whammy.   I went out to open the chicken house and first stopped in the ice house shed to spread some chicken food and there lie a dead chicken.  My heart sunk.  It was one of my bantams with those cute feathered feet and cheerful demeanor's.  I immediately got Jim to remove the body and couldn't watch!  Then I opened the hen house and I noticed there was only one polish chicken.  Jim investigated the crime scene and noticed a ton of white feathers. We deduced that the perpetrator killed 2 chickens but only could carry one.  And we think we know who did it....a bob cat.  Two days later, right by the spring, the bob cat sat ready to pounce but Jim and Burt were on the scene and chased off the killer.  Bob cats are such gorgeous wild animals.  It is difficult to be angry at such a beautiful animal that was doing what comes naturally.  So, we will continue to let our chickens live a happy life free-ranging, eating bugs and grass and accept nature's will.  Nevertheless, it doesn't mitigate the sadness I experience when it happens. 

Here are the chickens this morning drinking from the spring.  Could I ever deny them such a luxury by keeping them caged?