It has not been the happiest of weeks.
We lost a dear friend and even the weather turned dark and gloomy, to match our feelings. One morning the fox found out where our hens had built their playhouse and visited them. They are very fast workers, foxes, so even though Dear Husband ran, he could not save one of the hens. Dearest Dimi, our beautiful youngster, got taken and once again we were all extremely sad.
Darya, Dimis best friend, spent the rest of the day waiting for her to return and that did nothing to lift our spirits. As I've written before, these are the moments when we start questioning our way of keeping hens. In a cage they would be safe and in one place, no foxes around. Then I read about a hen keeper who had a bird of prey visiting the henhouse, killing a lot of his birds, in their home and I think you can't win.
So the hens stayed indoors for a few days and that's as much fun as it gets. Grumpy, stomping around birds that inform loudly about animal cruelty does not make you less sad. Outside the four M’s are roaming around, looking for the them and calling for me to help looking. All in all, not a happy place. It's also alarming to see how quickly hens get bored indoors. They start picking on everything the others do, they steal each other’s food and they get snippy with poor Monty. This, even though I brought them fresh grass and loads of extra food. I even made a sand heap in the middle of the stable for them. That, they did not touch, but I fell over it, twice.
So I caved in and the hens are out again. I run around clapping and speaking loudly into the forest about what I will do to any fox brave enough to try again and just hoping that no one (apart from Family Fox ) hears me.
Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My look at me like I have completely lost the plot and the hens are busy checking out the place, where they met the animal of the forest. My stress level has reached new heights and I'm thinking of moving into town to cultivate silk flowers on a small windowsill..... Then the hens turn up and inform me that as I would not really like the idea, and could I feed them instead? So I do, and they are right. Mindy also tells me that sheep do not like silk flowers, so I should get a grip. And I do - but at the end of the day, loosing a friend hurts and one should have the right to feel sad. Then it’s to get on with it, as our four woolly therapists tell me.
On a happier note, Little E is now looking very much like a not so little Lisbet hen, as you saw last week. Still beeping away but taller than her mother. And she has inherited her fathers logical thinking, so we will all soon be sporting grey hair and worry wrinkles. Can't wait!
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.