Monday, 18 January 2016

A Touch of Sad News on Blue Monday

What with turkeys, geese, guinea fowl, ducks and chickens, we have almost fifty birds altogether. It never seems that many as they generally wander over much of the farm and each group tends to keep to certain areas. Then there's the peahen which isn't ours but has moved in almost permanently now.
With this many birds, it's a sad but inevitable truth that we occasionally lose one. Last week I found a poor chicken being pecked at by the two turkeys (poultry have no sympathy for each other and can be very harsh indeed). I saved her and moved her to an isolation hutch, where she has stayed ever since. But I had decided that if she was not mobile this morning then it would only be fair to put her out of her misery. Sadly this is what I had to do. It's not something I enjoy doing, but I have got used to it. In fact being able to euthanise your birds efficiently is very much a part of being a caring smallholder and poultry keeper.
However I wasn't prepared for another loss today. For when it came to putting the birds away, only one of the two remaining white ducks was to be seen. In the vanishing light, I looked around and was a bit gutted to find the other lying dead in the raspberry patch. I'd been working very close by all day and hadn't noticed anything untoward. All I can say is that something did not seem quite right when she hopped out of her house this morning. It wasn't anything obvious, but more of a hunch. This was a real shame as yesterday she had gone to roost very happily, quacking and nodding her head up and down enthusiastically.
At least I know that both birds had good lives.

Overall though, despite this, it's been a good day. I've spent the whole day outside with the dogs and got loads done.
Boris, Arthur and Gerry kept me company in the garden today.

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