Poultry Palace Complete

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Coop installation by Karl Black of Black Hawk Construction who also put up the garden shed a few years back.

So you long-time readers might remember the great Chickalanche of the winter of 2014. All the snow off the barn roof came down with a swoosh onto our chicken pen and destroyed it. (And one of us got to say I TOLD YOU SO but we won’t go there.)

And then one of us insisted that we needed once more to offer our well-fed hens to whatever creatures get a hankering for some chicken–and they all do, every one of God’s creatures wants it some chicken, the list now including H5N1 bird flu spread by migrating birds. Oy.

But that’s a problem for spring, when (I speak as if I had any element of influence on the decision) we will get chicks and offer them up for dinner–to such creatures as this Coopers Hawk. Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled wildlife longing for a drumstick.

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Click image to enlarge.

We are, this week, in charge of a neighbor’s small flock, and Mr. Cooper here was perched yesterday morning not far from their little plot, looking hungrily towards the four hens. That’s 8 drumsticks. All survived their free-range daylight hours, thankfully.

It’s one thing to lose your own hens, and another to have to report that the coyotes or the roving dogs or the raccoons or the rat snakes or the chicken hawks or a crazed, ravenous mob of field mice ate what you were supposed to be protecting from becoming dinner.

And yet, things could be worse. Think how much more of a problem this would be if the wildlife chicken-eaters discovered gravy!


About fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

3 comments:

  1. Maybe the name Coopers Hawk actually was derived from their habit of always watching a coop. Joking of course, but still a fun thought.

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