Justice is Dead

With a heavy heart I report the end of Justice, our beloved patridge silkie.

Justice, rest in peace sweet chicken.

Justice, rest in peace, sweet chicken.

A fox discovered a vulnerable corner of the chicken tractor, dug a hole, and carried poor Justice away. We were able to follow the paw prints and trail of fluff to the den. Most likely there are baby kits within, so I am taking comfort that Justice ultimately helped wild animals survive.

The fox den.

The fox den.

In an attempt to appease the universe, I made an egg offering at the entrance of the den. My hope is that the fox understands she is forgiven, and that the neverending supply of chipmucks are a better option.

The egg offering.

The egg offering.

I moved the coop to a safer spot, and piled logs all around to deter the digging. Poor Juliet is lonely, we might need to find her a silkie friend.

Avian Flu and your flock

There are a few universal truths about keeping chickens. You put your flock at risk when:

  • You introduce new birds to your flock
  • You visit other flocks and track their chicken stuff into your coop
  • Wild birds are in contact with your flock
  • Your flock mingles with other domestic birds like ducks and geese
  • Your coop isn’t clean

If you are vigilant about these guidelines, your birds have a good chance of leading a long, healthy life until an owl or a fox gets really lucky.

This article has some info about the Avian flu impacting Oregon. The strains are H5N2 and H5N8 and they cannot be passed to humans, cats or dogs, so don’t panic.


Turning a Car Into a Coop…

The photo looks cute, but the practicality of this coop is highly questionable. It seems like it would be difficult to clean, difficult to access the birds without crawling around in hay, and difficult to keep weatherproof. You would need to throw a tarp over it every time it rained and the draft would be brutal.


car-chicken- coop

Do Chickens Need Sweaters?

Mother Nature Network posed this question in a hilarious article about bundling chickens up when it gets cold out. Personally, I don’t think they would be necessary unless the bird inconveniently molted during a cold snap, or had feather loss from an injury. As long as your chicken coop keeps out wind, draft, rain and snow they’ll probably be fine. Of course, this is coming from the person who brings the gang inside when it’s below 20C…