Varmints on the Farm

GRAPHIC NATURE!!  I went to gather the eggs yesterday afternoon and found one of my last year ISA Brown hens behind the feed barrel dead.  Her head was missing and something had eaten all of the meat from her neck.

The brownish-red hens with white tail feathers are my babies from last year.  Great brown egg layers!

The brownish-red hens with white tail feathers are my babies from last year. Great brown egg layers!

We are having a spring full of varmints.  Hubby has set live traps and caught several huge opossums, three or four skunks and a bunch of feral cats.  We don’t have any cats and we think someone is dropping them on our road because they’re everywhere!  At night he has seen red foxes and a pair of gray foxes circling the pond.  We have a bald eagle, golden eagle and a numerous bunch of red-tail and chicken hawks.  I saw a young bobcat my last week of hunting season!  We are surrounded by the varmints and my egg production suffers from it!!!  I have two young roosters that warn of danger flying overhead but I think they’re too busy being the men of the henhouse to keep close watch on the ground danger!

Egg production has gained strength with the longer and warmer days and I’m getting 10-12 eggs per day out of 24 (23 now) hens.  The “eggs for sale” sign is back out at the end of the driveway and neighbors are starting to come looking for fresh, large eggs of many colors.

You just can't beat fresh farm eggs that come from free range chickens!

You just can’t beat fresh farm eggs that come from free range chickens!

 

15 responses to “Varmints on the Farm

  1. I had a fox grab a hen when she was right by me while I was raking…Fuzzy and I chased the fox with the hen in her mouth for a long spell. Then she out ran us. GRRRRR

    I believe in live traps and a swift end!

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  2. We had a neighbor who actually had to hit a possum with a stick to get it out of her coop in the morning and the chicken it had was missing the head so that may be your culprit. We have lost so many chickens to fox, mink and possum over the years, but (knock on wood), since I put in two solar motion lights that go off by the coop entry even if a mouse runs by it, we have been free of killings for a few years now. Well except for the hawk that got two of our babies last year. Our baby chick area is now entirely netted over.

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  3. That is BLOODY BAD luck.
    Do skunks attack poultry?
    I’d eliminate the opossums ( just possums here in Aussie Land)
    but the feral cats I’d put to the top of the aiming sights of your hunting
    rifle.
    Isa Browns and the white variety are great egg laying MACHINES.
    Have fun blasting the “shit” out of these feral pests.
    Good luck
    Your Aussie mate who as you may have noticed has NO affection
    for feral animals.
    Colin

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    • Skunks will eat anything a opossoum will eat! Possums are immediately irradicated! The feral cats are catching all of our wild rabbits which we love having here. I know you are overrun with them but we love them!!
      My Isa Browns are wonderful and Eddie has a favorite called “two feathers” (she has two feathers that grow weird near her tail feathers). When she sees him out she comes running and begging for treats from his hands. She is spoiled and will run off the other chickens. She is also a broody machine and the only one I have that does that.
      You and Eddie would get along famously since he hates the varmints as well and his favorite saying is “you can’t have anything (for the varmints)”!! 🙂
      Have a great week! We’re back in the chill zone after two weeks of 60* and 70* weather.
      Warmest regards, Rita

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  4. Rita, this post reminds me of what I might miss most from our (hobby) farming days: fabulous fresh eggs and chicken that tastes like chicken (as opposed to industrial-grade store chicken that somehow tastes like nothing at all). Our chicken varmints were restricted to rats (ugh) and stray dogs, although one of our resident foxes consumed every one of our neighbor’s ducks who were foolish enough to come down the hill for a swim in our marsh! I love your pictures.

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    • Jane, I went to the grocery store today for my monthly shopping and a whole chicken could not be found under $10.36. I think some cornish chicks may be ordered in April!! Nothing like growing your own!!!
      I haven’t seen a post from you lately, have you given up blogging?
      Rita

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  5. Oh, wow. It sounds like you have your hands full with varmints! Lets hope they don’t get anymore of your girls. I love the different colors of eggs – so pretty!

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    • Vickie, Great to hear from you! For about three weeks this winter I was without my fresh eggs and would almost gag with the store bought eggs. My egg buyers were so disappointed when I didn’t have any. This year I’ll run a few different batches of new chicks so that we are not without next winter.

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  6. This city girl wants too see all the varmints but on someone else’s land!

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