Barn Swallows

Yesterday morning I found a small barn swallow chick sitting on the floor of the milking parlour. I carefully replaced it in the nest and they were still all together last night.

Some sad news though. On our walk last night, as we passed into the wilder area right down the back, I came across a pile of feathers that could only be from Carlos Garcia. When I saw the teal blue in amongst the pile my head just dropped. Shocked I turned the dogs and the pig around and walked back home to get John. After putting Tima to bed for safety’s sake, we searched everywhere. No sign of a body at all.11aa-barn-swallows-010

I herded Godot into the Peacock Penthouse with the Hens and locked them up.  It is hard to raise free range birds out here now.  Every last chicken in the barn Across The Way has disappeared too. I know a local dog got a few of them but most went missing while  IN the barn.11aa-barn-swallows-031

I know it was not Boo, he is under lock and key and my eye. And frankly he would not take a body away to eat it.   We have a new predator. A very quiet one. And big. I have heard of minks taking down peacocks but they were caged.  I don’t know. 11aa-barn-swallows-024

The field chickens are ok though. So far so good anyway.  I left both dogs out last night.  They bark on and off.  All my big chooks are free range now.

Sometimes life is a bit tough. But that is one of the risks of farming here. There are wild animals around us.

But today will be better.

I hope you have a better day.

celi

51 Comments on “Barn Swallows

  1. Oh Celi, my heart bleeds for you… Poor Carlos Garcia, a short happy life and a sad, nasty end. I’m praying your white angel Godot stays with you forever.

  2. That is very very hard….. I know you are strong and well prepared to deal with these ups and downs, but still…. very sorry…

  3. Oh, how hard… What on earth could it be, if not a dog? Carlos was a big bird…Around our place, the coyotes don’t mess with the adult turkeys, but a loose dog would…
    Thinking about you, Hon…all the way from Texas today.

  4. Oh heck I wasn’t expecting this! Sounds like a fox, as they take away their kill, especially if they have young ones to feed. I know we have to live with nature in all it’s wonderful and sometimes cruel ways, but it still makes you want to spit sometimes!
    On a different note, how come the cold cruel winter we had didn’t kill off the bugs? I am being swamped by Japanese Beetles! They are doing a big job on my fruit trees. Luckily enough my chickens like to eat these buggers, so I shake the trees to make them fall and the chooks jump on them. Trouble is I usually end up with some in my hair LOL

  5. sorry for your loss
    could it be coyote, or fox?
    we have bobcat problems in this area

  6. Sorry you lost your beautiful bird. But I’m with you – I’d rather my chickens free ranged as much as possible in the daytime, and had as natural a life as possible…I only once saw a mink (I think – just the back end of it disappearing through the hedge), but we’ve not had any losses, thankfully. Hope you have a better day.

  7. My condolences for your loss of Carlos Garcia. And for the chooks which were in The Barn Across The Way.

  8. Oh no—I am so sorry to hear about Carlos Garcia. Sounds like a coyote might be the culprit—seems they are on the rise in population and I am sure they would not think twice about taking one of the most beautiful creatures ever. Life is hard on the farm sometimes, isn’t it? Thinking about you today.

  9. Oh, I’m sorry for your loss of Carolos Garcia and the chooks. It hurts on all sorts of levels. I know you’ll pick yourself and get on with it – but easy for me say that when I’m not having to deal with it. Keeping you and all your precious creatures in my thoughts.

  10. I’m so sorry to hear this celi, poor Carlos Garcia and poor chicks, nature can be very cruel x

  11. Sh*t …. Bastard mink , erh coyote. Poor Carlos Garcia hadn’t even come into his own yet. 😦 Laura

  12. How sad! Life goes on, but more guardedly, and that’s sad, too!

  13. So sorry to hear this. I know how we felt just a week or so ago when we found the fawn, so, am trying to imagine how tragic this is for you on so many levels.I hope you find the culprit soon and that no other attacks occur – may this be a far better day and night.

  14. Have you considered a guardian dog? I have friend who has one with his chickens (they’ll guard anything if you get them started right) and we love, love, love having Hank here. He guards our sheep and chickens and, while super sweet and kind, is security for us as well. No one messes with his family!

    • C. I was about to ask the same thing. You need a guardian dog – they are used in many places. Bouviers de Flanders are one breed (we had one and I can testify to their gentleness with small things and how fiercely protect their own. They were breed to kill wolves attacking flocks…they don’t hunt them, they sit and wait for them to show up and take care of it before going back to sleep with the sheep. ) Great Pyr. are another. Here’s a link to a local farmy similar to yours who uses such guard dogs to watch over their chickens and livestock. They had a predator and hawk problem – I’m sure she would be glad to answer any questions.
      http://www.crazykfarm.com/CrazyKFarm.html
      Are there any tracks?
      Take care.

  15. I HATE it when this kind of thing happens. I know that it’s part of this kind of life but hey, NOT ON MY PATCH is how I always feel.
    Christine

  16. Awe C. not again and Carlos Garcia, no less. I am so sorry to hear this. I know you must be feeling terrible because you do everything you can to keep your animals safe at all times. What could of possibly done this? Soo sorry….

  17. I am sorry to hear about Carlos Garcia. So, why was he down on the ground, anyway? That tells me that he was taken in the daylight as he was not roosting? We lost a 35 lb goose and her mate one night to coyotes. Not a sound. Also, raccoons ravage birds, too. Around here, everything must be locked up tight at night. Skunks will take down a big bird, too. Drat

  18. Dammit. I’m so sorry. But you can only do what you can. The barn swallow chick was a good save, Carlos Garcia and the chooks a sad loss, and elements of the environment frustratingly beyond control.

  19. Ever so sorry to hear it. If it’s a raptor, not sure what you can do. But we use poultry netting fence and that prevents the ground predators. I wonder if your state has a predator abatement program like Maine has. You can get movable electric fence and chargers for very little, on a five year payment program. Poultry net is really very effective. So sad for you.

  20. Send you all of the above sentiments and more . . . . and a huge hug!! More words today would be insufficient by a long shot darlingHeart!

  21. Dearest C, I’m so sorry to hear about the trials of the flock! Another precious peacock down? How sad, how sad indeed. May all of the farmy contingent have a smoother, kindlier rest of their summer! You, too, my love.
    xo,
    K

  22. Oh, Celi, my heart hurts for you–and Carlos Garcia. Glad you got Godot back inside. Sorry to hear you’ve lost more chickens, too. I guess even predators want good, clean food.

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