Thursday, March 24, 2011

Her name was Molly. She was a good old chook.

G'day. My tale today is a sad one. Many years ago we bought four Isa Brown chickens, as there is only hubby and I, four eggs a day turned out to be too much really. I would give them to workmates, make egg and bacon pie, you name it, if it had an egg in it I made it. Over some years three had died of natural causes, which left one old girl, so feeling sorry for her on her own I bought two more young ones, just on the point of lay.Some time passed and the original old girl passed away leaving the two sweeties to keep up the egg production. I had named them  Molly and Tilly. Up until Wednesday they kept us in eggs and they were my pets. They would follow me around when I let them out of their run into the paddock and would let me pick them up and carry them if so desired. Wednesday afternoon I came home from work and went up to let them run free, I thought it strange they were not waiting at the door to their run, eager as always to come out. As I walked into the run a flapping and screeching shook me out of my daydreams, a rather large hawk was in there, it had it's talons caught in the bird netting that we put over the top of the 40'x 12' run. I saw that one chook was dead, it was ripped to pieces and it's head had been bitten off. I was not game to go too close to this hawk, but, needed to see where the other chook was,. I couldn't see her, she wasn't in sight and she wasn't in the chook house itself which the run connects to, so I just left the main door open in the hope the hawk would get untangled and fly out. After getting hubby we went back up to see what we could do and the bird thankfully had gone. Molly was the one that was dead and poor Tilly couldn't be found at first. Hubby heard this faint little noise and there she was, jammed up against the fence hiding amongst some branches of a Wormwood bush. This would not have protected her if I hadn't gone up to the chook house when I did. I think the attack had not long happened and the hawk would easily have gotten her as well. The hawk got into the run by tearing at the netting with it's beak and then once in it couldn't get back out through the hole it had made. Tilly is ok, though she is still terrified to come out of the house and I have kept her locked in there the last couple of days. Went back up yesterday morning to see how she was as I thought she may have died of fright through the night and would you believe it, the hawk was back in the run again, it had torn another hole in the netting and couldn't get back out again. Thank goodness I had locked Tilly in her house. Hubby came up with a straw broom, his overalls on and his motorbike helmet to try to get this nasty looking bird out. I do wish I had had my camera as hubby really did look a treat.Anyway after hubby threating it with the broom, it got the hint and  went through the door opening and flew off into a nearby tree. My neighbour was telling me yesterday that they lost a chook  a few days ago and it was in the same condition, so this hawk must be going between the two properties for the chooks.In all the years we have been here, we have never lost a chook to a fox, or a eagle and now this happens. I will have to find a good home for Tilly as it is too dangerous now to let her in the paddock and she will be lonely without her best mate. The photo is of the chook house and run with the white bird netting behing the bushes. The middle opening also housed a one cow dairy a long, long time ago. I was watching the two chooks only last Sunday evening as they were foraging in the paddock and I was thinking how great they looked and that I would miss them when we move as the new owner said she would like to have them. I buried Molly, hubby dug a hole, but I picked up what was left of her, because she was my chook and my responsibilty and I owed her that for the few years of pleasure she had given me and the lovely eggs that she faithfully gave us. Take care...

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