The birds have been active here on Schoonover Farm. We have a pair of eagles doing acrobatics in the air above us. To my knowledge they have not eaten one of our chickens in a while now. This is one of them. The other one has immature coloring.
The chickadees have been hanging out in the willows by our back ditch recently for some reason. There were many in one plant, but the photo didn’t do them justice. So here is a close up of one of them.
A GBH has been hanging in the sheep pasture. Not sure why. This is not their typical behavior, but he is flying around normally so it must be her/his choice.
Here is the bird on the shelter’s roof in the same field later.
So today was chicken butcher day. I got up before dawn and caught the roosters, putting them into crates and cages. Here they are in the back of the truck.
I did spare one rooster, one of the Bielefelders. He is a pretty bird and well behaved. He is big enough to hopefully be intimidating to the eagles, but he treats the hens well. They are described as having a docile disposition so hopefully he will be able to remain as a rooster on our farm. Plus if he produces chicks that become hens, they should produce beautiful eggs.
And here are the chickens back from the butcher. They range between 3 and slightly above 4#. Not very big, but they should be tasty.
Chicken butcher day is always bittersweet. It is sad to catch the roosters and have them killed, but it is a lot more peaceful in the barnyard now. They are beautiful birds and they wouldn’t have lived if it weren’t for their ultimate purpose. I hope they had a good life while they were here. I know their end wasn’t without some fear, but I tried hard to make it as pleasant as I could. Plus it always seems to dump rain on chicken butcher day.
SURPRISE!! It worked! I was so excited when I read your email the other day, and was just thrilled! I almost held my breath this morning when I clicked on the link.. I’m so happy to back ON with you and your blog.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO MAKE THE EFFORT!
The wild birds you have in your photos are so beautiful. I really am fascinated by the Herons. We have those here too. This is the first time we’ve lived in an area where we can enjoy them. Of course they’re gone now for this year. We also have ospreys and the bald eagles, too.
How many roosters did you take to the butcher? I tried to count them in the cooler, but no luck.
Thank you again for reconnecting us! You may be sure I’ll be around to pester you!
I love to have you back Jeanne! I have missed you. You are my most consistent commenter, and it makes me feel like someone is reading my posts. It is not pestering at all. It helps keep me going. Anyway, there were 17 brought to the butcher and back. I had wanted to bring 24 (2 chickens per month to eat) but the eagles, a cold spring and other issues thwarted those plans. Maybe next year although we will not be doing all roosters again but straight run. It is too hard on our laying hens to have that many roosters around.
I bet the hens are relieved to have the roosters thinned out. that is interesting about the GBH hanging out in the pasture. we had a ringneck pheasant poking around here a few weeks back.
They are relieved. Much calmer in the barn now. Yesterday I saw a golden eagle chasing a GBH. So maybe it thought being near sheep was protective. I hope the GBH stays safe. That is cool that you had a pheasant.