The Adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer on Friday–The Attack on the Hens

The Attack on the Hens

I was dozing under Dad’s pickup when Bladen came riding up on his bicycle.

At one point Blade was working with Mom to earn money for a new bicycle, but Dad dug Uncle Evan’s BMX out of the barn and asked Blade if he wanted to ride it.  There was lots of Blade getting on and Dad adjusting the seat, then a couple or three rides up and down the driveway between the house and the grain bins, when Blade said; “Okay.”   That was the last of working for a new bike, now Blade is working for a hundred dollar bill.

Every time he gets enough money to change his dollars into a bigger dollar that is what he does.  I think I overheard him tell Mom and Dad that he has a twenty dollar bill, a ten dollar bill, a five dollar bill and summer isn’t even over yet.

Anyway, back to my story.  Blade came riding up really fast and said that something got one of Mom-mom (Misty’s) hens.  Would Mom come down and see what predator it was.  My Mom can just look at the murder and know what predator did it.  At least she has pretty good ideas….dogs kill just to kill, raccoons will reach through the pen and grab a head or leg and pull it off, skunks bite into the neck and throat area….well, I think you get the idea.

My Mom asked Blade all sorts of questions as she was getting ready to go down to Mom-mom’s hen house to check out the damage.  She asked us dogs, Boomer and I, Fuzzy, if we wanted to go along.

You bet we did!

It was a rather long way, across the pipe road, then down the sticker road, on the super highway, then down the Apricot tree road, in 100* heat.  But we made it. (It’s sort of sad, because I remember the days when I could run all the way over there right beside the four-wheeler, but not anymore.  Mom always walks with me, if we walk and sits with me when I take a break. If we go on the four-wheeler she puts me on back and I ride.  My legs get all shaky and trimly but I can STILL do it!)

When we got there we came upon a scene I hope I never come up on again.  There was a pile of feathers that was it.  Mom-mom was standing over Hank the Puff (he lost his name cow dog, they now call him Puff, as in Puff the Magic Dragon and only call him Hank when they are really upset at him).

Hank was looking sheepish and cowing down and whapping his tail really hard on the road, sending up dirt in real clouds of dust.

Then I saw it!

A feather!

A feather on Puff’s, HANK’s mouth!

Mom started asking Mom-mom all sorts of questions…did you see the chicken before it went missing?  Where did you last see it?  Was it alive when you saw it? Was Hank with you all the time?  Did you check to see if there were any hawks flying around or sitting in the trees close by?

Hank kept looking up at Mom-mom and whapping his tail a very sincere look on his face.  He was stirring up a little breeze with his tail whapping so the feathers were starting to swirl around a bit.

Boomer was sniffing in the general area when suddenly he sneezed (!) so the whole pile of feather flew up in the air with one sticking on his nose, which made him sneeze even more.

By the time Boomer stopped sneezing the pile of feathers was all messed up.

Since Mom didn’t have a carcass to study, and since Mom-mom didn’t know if there were any flying predators around, Mom decided it might have been a hawk.  Here is how she came to that conclusion:

  • The feathers were at the base of one of the corral poles, there were no other remains but feathers
  • The pile of feathers wasn’t a huge amount, more like a small amount
  • Hank was with Blade in Blade’s room for most of the morning and sleeping on the deck in the sun the other part of the morning. (Until it got to hot)
  •  Linki found the feathers and told Mom-mom before anyone else saw the feathers
  • Mom-mom counted the chickens and one is missing
  • Blade rode over to Grammy’s, Hank stayed with Mom-mom and the girls
  • Coyotes and Fox grab a bird and take the whole thing away, but it was 11:00 in the morning—it’s very rare, VERY rare for one of those predators to be out and about in the daytime, especially the middle of the morning on a 100* day

Still it looked pretty bad, Hank sitting there with a feather stuck to his nose, one on his head and another dangling on his chest.

Mom-mom’s faced hardened.  “Come here, Hank!” Hank crawled over to her.  Tail dragging in the dirt, a little whine coming out of his throat, he was telling us, he didn’t do it, he had been framed.  Boomer should have chicken feathers all over his fur too, but his fur isn’t long.

Mom-mom reached down….we ALL thought she’s going to smack Hank, and pulled the feathers off of him!  Then she gave him a big hug and told him she was glad he wasn’t the one who killed (and ate) the chicken.

So the mystery was solved.  It must have been the hawk that keeps circling the sky all the time, sometimes being ran off by smaller birds in the area.  Chickens don’t fly. A hen never looks up, only roosters do, they are always busy scratching and pecking, searching all over on the ground.

Mom said the hawk, probably swooped down and settled on the corral fence post, sat real still until the hen picked and scratched her way to the post.

They are easy prey for predator birds…really easy.

Fuzzy

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19 thoughts on “The Adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer on Friday–The Attack on the Hens

  1. Pickin’s must be getting slim all over for the wild predators, because we lost a hen last night and so did one of our other blog friends. Glad that Hank was exonerated.

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  2. Oh, I am so glad it wasn’t Hank!! Those bad hawks! We have lots of them here, too, so can’t let our little hen friends out of their run at all.
    Thanks for writing today, Fuzzy. Love your stories.
    Blessings!
    CottonLady

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  3. Oh, my! That’s what scares me about letting mine roam free. We have a hawk that hangs around the neighborhood. So far, we only let them out in the evening for an hour or two.

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  4. Fuzzy you are surrounded by brainiacs. Life is good and you without question are the leader of the pack.

    A long time ago friends needed a place for their little rat dog to live. I said he could hang at my place for awhile. He was an outside pooch and as dogs will do sometimes he started running with a bad crowd when I was away to work. Went over to a neighbors and was raising hell. When I got home that day the dog lay where he was shot in the driveway with a 12-gauge slug. I remember this because it was way way below zero and he froze so fast you could look right through.

    Many ranchers/farmers do not tolerate such behavior not even once. I’m glad it was a chicken hawk.

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  5. Poor Puff…good thing he had an alibi and the chicken owner didn’t jump to conclusions. Poor chickens have it rough being on the bottom end of the food chain.

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  6. Very good story telling. In SW Iowa the Red Tailed Hawks have really thinned out the pheasant population to the extent that you seldom see a pheasant. There used to be so many….

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  7. Hi There, So glad to get home and back to blogging. We did have a fabulous trip–but home is pretty nice also!!!!!

    I always enjoying reading about the adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer….

    It was GREAT meeting you and Terry…. Hope you can visit us sometime –and we want to come back!!!!!
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  8. I’m glad that you dogs have a very intelligent and understanding mom! And I think she’s probably right in surmising that it was a hawk. I’m a wildlife biologist, and some of my work has dealt with predation/scavenging. Hawks usually do pluck part or all of a carcass, at the base of a perch they’ve selected. Poor Hank probably just went out to investigate the scene of the crime, and his inquisitive, sticky nose and mouth picked up some feathers. Watch the skies! 🙂

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  9. To JJ-I lived in Adair county 73 -76 something like that anyway. One of those years maybe two that county had the highest pheasant population in the nation. It was just amazing I tell you. Now they’re gone? In the couple times over the years I’ve drove throgh it seemed there had been a fair amount of habitat lost as well because agriculture changed.

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  10. Fuzzy, your Mom is a great detective. She’s also a good companion since she lets you ride in the four-wheeler with you. I’m glad the mystery was solved (I’ll bet Hank the Puff is glad as well!).

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  11. So much catching up to do in bloggy world!!
    If you and Terry want to drive up sometime let us know when. We will be here!!
    Looks like we may be going to Denver in mid August. Maybe we can meet up then??

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  12. I’m so glad that it wasn’t Hank too. Things were looking a bit shaky there for a little while but, your Mum sorted it all out in her usual clever way Fuzzy.
    Thanks for another good yarn!

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