As you may have read in the last post “The luck of the draw (1 of 3),” we had our first run in with predators at the farm. This is another story that happened last year about our run-ins between the wild and raised critters on our farm .
Another summer day in the land of the Hillenmeyer Farm. As the day wound down, I went inside to start preparing dinner as Joe was out front getting the charcoal grill going. Out of nowhere I hear Joe yelling profanities. I go out to see what happened, thinking possibly he’s on fire. Trying to figure out what was happening, Joe says “damn, it picked it up and carried it off.” Basil, our wonder dog, was standing at the tree line pointing (his bird dog breeding showing up).
I ran down there as fast as I could and saw a pile of red feathers! And as I looked up I saw a huge Red Tailed Hawk fly up from the creek just 10 feet in front of me! I started searching for one of my little red hens. I figured since the hawk flew up without anything in it’s talons, there was a chance the chicken had gotten away.
Basil jumped in the brush after me and I said, “Basil, find the chicken!” He took off into the creek and headed towards downstream towards our driveway. Well shit, I suppose Basil doesn’t understand, so much for his help. I kept screening the wooded brush when I heard Joe yell, “He found her!” I jumped out of the brush and ran towards Joe and Basil and found my little red hen hunkered down under a low bush.
So much for second guessing Basil’s understanding of English. He found her and pointed her out! There is no other way we would have found her, she was scared and hiding! I pulled her out from under the small bush and examined her. I didn’t find any blood or cuts so I brought her back up to the coop. It was then I realized her tail feathers looked as if they got a trimming. Normally her tail feathers stick up quite a bit from her hind end, but it looked as if someone clipped off the tips.
Phew! Another scare from the wild! After calming down, we sat down and Joe told me exactly what happened. He said he was standing up at the house and heard an ungodly squawking noise near the creek. He said before he could even think about it, Basil took off, jumped down the 6 foot retaining wall and ran towards the creek. As this was happening, Joe saw a huge hawk swoop down towards the brush by the creek and carry the chicken off.
I truly believe without Basil running down there to protect the chicken, we would have lost her. We certainly wouldn’t have found her without his help! Basil has turned out to be such a good fit for us and the farm!