Monday, 29 October 2007

Godber defies death

Listening to: Do The Square Thing (The Three Johns)
Dark at: 4.40
What's for tea?: Pasta, tomato sauce, parmesan.

My attempts at rearing poultry have so far proved to be more than a little ropey.

I managed to suffocate one hen on the two-mile journey home after picking them up a few weeks ago and now we could be down to four feathery inmates.

As previously reported, Godber, along with Fletch, has developed a talent for accidentally escaping from the hen run before panicking, running up and down looking for a way back in.

As a result, she very nearly cashed in her chips last week. I was tatting around at the front of the house when I heard chickeny cries of alarm. I huffed around to the hen run where I saw a ball of white terrier fur and dark grey hen feathers. Spike had clocked that stupidly I'd left the back door of the barn open, had nipped out, gone to 'investigate' and been delighted to find a victim.

I managed to grab a handful of Jack Russell and - assuming Godber was an ex-hen, ceased to be and so on - carted the miscreant into the house and shoved him into the kitchen.

Going out to clear up the corpse, I was amazed to find she was alive and clucking. She made her way back into the run, apparently none the worse for the experience.

Sadly, when I checked the hens today, Godber seemed depressed and, for good measure, it looks like she might have damaged her wing in the attack which meant I had to lift her out through the hatch for her tour of the exercise yard. She had eaten OK, but I'm not sure how she's going to be in the long run.

Do hens suffer post-traumatic stress?


The Birdwatcher said...

I don't think they do to be honest. Ours used to survive being chased by dogs, left out at night etc and seemed none the worse for it. I'll keep fingers crossed for Godber.

Z said...

We had a bantam with no tail feathers and a rumpful of foxy tooth marks (also a dozen dead or missing hens). I cleaned her up as best I could, squirted antiseptic in the holes and gave her some cheese. She was brought into the house for a clean-up and a piece of cheese every night until she was better. She seemed unperturbed. I think that if Godber had been going to die of shock, she would have already. But I expect her wing hurts.

It may be too hard to teach a Jack Russell, but my dogs learned within two days not to chase chickens.

Malc said...

Jack Russells can't be trained not to attack small birds and animals - it's what they were designed for. It was all my fault for letting my guard down on barn security.

Spike had a good, hard slap, but he'll do it again if he gets the chance.

Haven't tried cheese, although the hens get cabbage and/or lettuce every day.

I, like the view said...

this is turning into Animal Hospital now! wonderful - The Good Life, therapy of some sort, vicarious living the dream for those of us too woosy to actually go and live on a croft, weather surf reports, reading and music hints and tip, recipes (see previous comment!). . .

the perfect blog!


(hope you get the hot water back soon)

I, like the view said...

(I hope you're not tempted to waste the parmesan on the chickens. . .)

I, like the view said...

yes, me again! tried to find the surfcam on the surf site, but to no avail

the guy in the coffee shop at Polzeath told me about loads of bands, whose names I wrote down, then promptly forgot - I'll try and track them down

I, like the view said...

LAST ONE!! I promise

Baking for Britain is a fab fab site!! she has covered various recipes that I have always wanted but never found anywhere else

Malc said...


Thanks, as ever, for the kind words.

I'll try and work out how to send you the Polzeath link. I'm a bit slow in these matters.

Baking for Britain I found through your blog and it's excellent. I'm baking Orkney Broonies tonight.

I, like the view said...

(there's one at TJ's surf shack)(I thought I was looking for a link to surfing in Orkney!)