Friday, January 18, 2019

Chicken trauma

An owl got one of our chickens yesterday. Chickens are vulnerable to a number of predators. Weasels, opossums, raccoons, and hawks.

I know it was an owl because yesterday afternoon right at dark, I heard the chickens. That's rare with these chickens. They are hens and so they don't crow at daybreak like roosters.

When I stepped down to check on them, an owl was in their coop eating corn from their feeders. Once the owl saw me, it flew up to a low branch of a nearby sweet gum tree and observed me.

After putting the chickens into their coop and latching the door, I stepped back inside my house for my BB gun.  I didn't want to hurt the owl but I wanted him to know I was unhappy. I fired several times into the tree. One of the shots must have gotten close because he flew away.

I'm on call at the paper, but Sunday I plan to put up netting which is a deterrent for hawks and owls.

On the lighter side, Jilda and I went to one of our favorite restaurants tonight. The food was off the charts. The paper had given me a gift certificate to this restaurant for Christmas and it seemed like a perfect time to use it.

The only pictures I took today were of more moss and lichen. Heading into the archives, I found this picture of sparrows munching birdseed off the back deck banister. I love these little critters and they would never hurt my chickens.


  1. I am glad you had a belated Christmas/birthday dinner. And sorry about the chicken.

  2. Netting should protect them, must have been like fish in a barrel for the owl, easier than spotting mice.

  3. I love that picture, what a neat shot. Yep, the cycle of life don't make us happy at times, but those birds and animals do what comes natural. But very good idea to do what we can to give safety to the ones that cannot protect themselves.
    My daddy would say, "you need to burn the critter a little to let him know yo mean business."

  4. Bu kuşların sayıları giderek azalıyor...
    Nesillerinin tükenmesinden korkuyorum...

  5. I hope your chicken will be safe. The net is a good idea to deter the birds of prey. Foxes got all my neighbour's chicken last year.

    I'm glad that you had a nice meal and that it was off the chart. That was a nice gift from your employer.
    Hugs, Julia

  6. Poor chickens. The unfortunate thing is that they are pretty much defenseless.

  7. Geez, birds eating birds..just doesn't sound right. I haven't heard the owl that lives in our pines lately...hopefully he didn't fly south! I'm sorry you lost one of your chickens. Our neighbors have them and have lost some to the fox that lives in the creepy woods. One of the worst predators around here are the coyotes. It's fair game to shoot them on sight. I hope that netting works. We're getting our big snow storm today and tomorrow. Wish us luck!

  8. I have never thought of owls doing such things, I don't know why just never thought of owls like that

  9. Owls and hawks are effective predators, no doubt about it.

  10. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Those sparrows are adorable!!


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