Don't look at these pictures if you're squeamish.
I drove back from an errand yesterday afternoon to find a hawk eating one of our chickens alive on the front lawn. The hawk flew off as I pulled up, but it had already made a wound too large to close, so the chicken was slaughtered. Aimee's name for the bird was Skippy, due to a habit of skipping, I guess.
I searched hard for the rest of our small flock but couldn't find them all so we then had wait for them to come in from wherever they had gone to ground. It took several hours, until normal chicken bed-time. They all came in, but one had a pretty well-plucked spot on its bum. Still, no blood, so she lived.
Where was my fearless wifie, who was home while all this was happening? Oblivious, on her exercise machine with the TV blaring.
I guess that's another good reason to consider yard and farm work a superior form of exercise. Not only do you get something accomplished, you also keep the animals safe if you're in the farmyard working. I'm up to cutting trees down again, for firewood and brush clearing. With a machete. Good exercise, that.
Poor Skippy was very fat and full of eggs. I hate to see such a good layer have to be killed. But there's only one think to make with such a fat old layer.
Chicken soup! And very fat and greasy soup at that.
The birds will have to stay in the barn for a day or three. We don't need to encourage any hawks to hang around around here regularly. And the rifle is loaded.
Although I'm wishing for a scattergun.
Bloody old hawk.