Wild Winds

Holy Cow, it's incredibly windy today.   They said the area may get up to 60mph gusts, although I'm sure that's at higher elevations and our area may be somewhat less.   I had to go out and lock the chickens in, bracing their door with a cinder block and heavy chair.   A few things have blown around outside, even though we're pretty well prepared due to previous high winds.   A tree at our neighbor's came down in front of his house a couple weeks ago.   Fortunately it didn't hit the house or his brand new roof, and now he has a very large pile of wood stacked up.

A couple of you asked about the hawks and our chickens.   Yes, our chickens free range, but they have several shelters such as where our donkeys used to live, under the horse trailer, under my truck, tucked under the redwood tree.   I don't think a hawk has ever harmed one of our chickens.   When we had so many hens, and they were young, they would wander all over our property and next door to our neighbors' fields.   The few we lost to predators were likely due to a coyote or fox, not a hawk.  

For a while, as you may remember, we had a rooster named Toby who would keep track of the hens and sound his alert when there was danger.   What I've always found so interesting about the chickens is they can tell the difference between a hawk or a vulture flying around the area.   It has to be an awareness that they're born with since the hawks have never gone after our flock.   It's fascinating that we have vultures flying all around but just one hawk will cause them to freeze or seek shelter.   

We mostly have Red Tail Hawks here, although I know there are also Red Shouldered Hawks...to be honest, I'm not sure I can always tell the difference.   The Coopers Hawks are here also but they are smaller and I suppose much less capable of carrying a chicken.   My thought is that other food is quite plentiful near our property and hawks aren't going to grab something big and heavy like a chicken, when ground squirrels and such are plentiful.   

We only have 4 hens left from our high of 16.   These girls are 8 years old and until this past week have been healthy.   One of our girls looks sick and isn't getting around very well, so I expect it won't be long before there are only 3.   I don't want any of them to be the last hen standing....but I don't want to think about that right now.

I'm hungry.   I look forward to being able to eat something good tomorrow.

Here's a pretty photo I took recently.   I love this one and have it as my desktop wallpaper.   Of course the blues aren't actually that color.   I took some liberties with my editing.   

Talk to you soon!


This N That said…
Good luck tomorrow..Glad to hear that you chickens are safe...I didn't look that closely at your Hawk picture but at the time I thought it was a Coopers...Beautiful picture..worthy of wallpaper..HAve fun tomorrow..I guess that's the easy part..
Tabor said…
My husband would like a few chickens, but we really do not have room for them to leave their calling cards everywhere and for them to tear up my flower beds and we have our share of hawks.
tahoegirl.blog said…
We just had a hawk get one of our chickens so it does happen but infrequently. This poor girl was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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