Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘roadkill

Opening Night

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After an afternoon of monkeying around to install a new replacement storm door over our front door –of which I only got halfway– we hustled to feed animals early and get cleaned up for a night out on the town with our friends Barb and Mike Wilkus. First stop, we met in Northeast Minneapolis for some Southeast Asian food at Hai Hai restaurant, a culinary departure for all of us. It was great!

From there, we drove downtown for the local opening night performance of “Ain’t Too Proud,” the story of the Temptations, at the Orpheum Theater.

Quite a performance that tells the story of ups and downs the group went through in their somewhat complicated history.

It made for a very late night. Driving for an hour to get home after the show brought us in long after our usual bedtime. We are not usually on the road when it starts to get foggy and young raccoons might be trying to make their way across the pavement.

I fear there is one less raccoon alive this morning because I chose not to make any evasive maneuvers that might put ourselves and our vehicle at risk.

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Holding Out

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Turns out, our adult Golden Laced Wyandotte layer hen has been holding out on us. Yesterday, Cyndie’s mom, Marie, along with Sara and Althea, stopped by to see the new chicks on their way home from the lake place. While they were here, the group took a stroll to find the three adult hens free-ranging away on the property.

When they heard the Wyandotte cooing in a thicket of growth, closer inspection revealed she was sitting on a batch of seven eggs!

Why that little stinker.

When I got home and Cyndie shared some pictures of the scene with me, the thing that stood out more than the eggs was the appearance of poison ivy leaves around the spot.

That chicken really doesn’t seem to want us to take her eggs.

For that matter, I suddenly have very little interest in handling that hen! Her feathers are probably covered in poison ivy oils. I start to feel phantom itches all over just thinking about it, and I didn’t even touch any of the hens or eggs yesterday.

I touched a lot of cute little “henlets,” though.

Whose idea was it to allow our chickens to free-range around here, anyway? A fenced run off the coop would be a lot simpler than all the risks due to predators and the hens’ creativity with laying locations.

Speaking of predators, I believe there is now one less fox we need to worry about. Yesterday morning, just as I turned off our street on the way to work at the crack of dawn, I saw a roadkill fox in the oncoming lane.

I’m a little surprised no other marauders discovered the pile of eggs free for the taking from the ground in the last week. Maybe that bodes well for the chances of continued good luck for the last three surviving hens from our 2018 batch.

If it weren’t for the occasional random incursions of passing bands of coyotes, our regular number of free-ranging adults might increase from the usual three that we always end up with toward the end of their productive egg-laying years.

When we were in this same situation two years ago, with 3 adults and a new brood of twelve young-uns that we expected would need merging together, the adults all got taken by a fox over a series of a few days. Sad as that was, it saved us the hassle of introducing the different aged birds to each other.

This time, I may need to actually follow through on a plan to remodel the inside of the coop to add a barrier that will provide shared-but-segregated accommodations for some period of introduction.

We never run out of new things to learn around here. Particularly, how to outsmart a hen that decides she’s too good for the silly nest boxes in the coop for laying her precious eggs.

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