First of all, I’ve decided that even though I’m going to post a walk every Wednesday, it doesn’t mean the walk was actually taken on a Wednesday. This will relieve me a great deal. Thank you.
So. Today was windy, cold and sunny. The entire day spread out like a banquet before me and I decided to let the chickens out to enjoy the sunshine and fresh bits of grass as I headed towards the woods. They were giddy with joy. Normally it is about 3 or 4 o’clock before freedom is granted.
I heard the train coming across the trestle so I hurried up the road the get a shot.
The train normally carries passengers, but today there were tanker cars.
I felt like I was in an episode of Thomas the Train.
This pond dries up completely in summer, but now is quite lovely.
Above, you can see why attaching fences to trees in never a good idea……..
Some poor bird lost some feathers.
And I found a soccer ball.
In the middle of the forest.
Which is retarded.
I couldn’t just leave it there, so on the way home I pretended I was David Beckham.
Noesy thought that was awesome. Only kicking the ball made my toes hurt. David Beckham must be really tough. Or maybe soccer players have special shoes, kinda like Forest Gump.
Or, maybe I’m just a weenie.
Even though it was freezing cold, Nosey couldn’t resist a dip in the pond on the way home.
And by ‘freezing cold’ I mean it was 54 degrees. That’s how we roll in Texas y’all.
Not sure what these belong too, I think it’s a wicked thorny weed.
But it looks pretty cool!
I spied my barred rock hen and snapped this picture as I walked back up to the house. I giggled to myself and said, “Look, she thinks she is hiding.”
If I had known what waited for me at the top of the hill I would not have giggled.
Anyone who has kept chickens knows the scene all too well. You walk into your yard and see bodies, feathers, blood, carnage…..everywhere. I started to run and scream. I flung open the door, grabbed my phone, dropped my camera and dialed the next door neighbors. “I’m going to kill your (really bad expletive here) dogs if you don’t come get them NOW.” The pair of 100 pound Bull Mastiff’s were flopping and prancing around my dead darlings. This is the second time. There will not be a third.
My black Australorp was dead, her entrails lying behind her. My last blue polish hen, Poof-Head we call her, I thought was dead. But, when I went to her I saw she was breathing, one side cut completely open. I could see her breast, muscles and tendons. My Salmon, who has already seen enough injury via a raccoon when she was six months old, she had no feathers on her back side and bite marks with chunks of flesh gone. The neighbor came and took away the dogs and the dead chicken. I took the wounded into the bathroom where Addie helped me doctor them as best we could. Then the search began for the others.
I knew where the barred rock was hiding. Heck, I had her picture. Addie and I walked the woods for 3 hours and found 8 more chickens. Randy, Stripe-Stripe’s Husband and 4 other hens where still missing. Bon Jovi, the polish roo with the crazy hair, was by the rail road tracks, all the way to the deer stand in the back woods. As I walked around the barn, my cream brabanter came running across the open field. Straight towards me. As I walked and searched for the others she followed me, obviously terrified. One hen was hiding next to the coop under a big evergreen tree that has a large pole lying beneath it. Slowly, as the fear subsided, the hens all came back, one-by-one and gathered with their friend. I spied Stripe-Stripe’s husband running up the wooded hill behind the coop to join them. Bon Jovi started crowing in the woods and he crowed back. They did this several times and I saw Bon Jovi running crazily toward the evergreen tree. They all stayed there, huddled together while I continued to search for Randy and the other hens. My legs were worn out so I got the golf cart and was driving towards the woods when I saw them. Randy and 3 hens, all together. He was clucking to them, leading them and they followed him, close enough to touch. He took them from hiding place to hiding place, through the woods, to the evergreen tree. When he got there, the others finally came out and began to partake of the scratch grain I got for them. He showed them where it was and clucked to tell them it was okay now.
Randy is a great rooster. I wish he was president. Seriously.
The 2 injured hens are in the broiler pen. I hope they made the night, I haven’t gone outside yet. My golden lace, still hasn’t come back. I don’t expect she will.
After all this, I went into town and picked up my step-son from school and drove him 40 minutes to Palestine to take his drivers test. I could have taken him to Jacksonville, which is 30 minutes closer, but his teacher said Palestine was nicer, and a better testing environment. So, we went. And stood in line, Addie, Gus and me, for 30 minutes. The nice lady asked me for his birth certificate, social security card, ect. I had everything I needed. “This is expired” she said, nodding to his school’s proof of enrollment, “It’s only good for 30 days.” It was dated December 15th. So, we turned around and left, driving 40 minutes back home.
I had an order for a chocolate strawberry cake so I made that. And I made supper.
I get the kids to bed and the neighbor calls. The one with the dogs. “Can I come over?” He asks. “Sure” I say. And I poured myself a rather large glass of wine.
“Come outside a minute.” He says. It is freezing cold (43 degrees now) and raining. I follow him to his truck and there are 2 large boxes in the back. “I drove 3 hours to go get these.” He says. In the boxes are 4 chickens. One of them a gigantic rooster. I didn’t bother to try and explain I don’t like bringing outside chickens into my flock because of possible illness. Or that I already have THREE roosters. At this point, I am just tired.
I take them out of their boxes and set them gently in with the others. They look healthy and from the size of the roo’s spurs, they are young. I showed the neighbor the injured ones and then thanked him for the chickens. He gave me some money for medicine. Then I told him if it happened again, I was going to kill his dogs. And I gave him a hug and I went inside and I went to bed.
And that was my walk today.
Some walks are more fun than others.
Thanks for joining me.