Sunday, November 2, 2008

Turkey attacked

Although I didn't buy the llamas to protect our poultry, we haven't lost any turkeys this year since the llamas are living in the pasture that surrounds the turkey house. And we know the coyotes are still here, since we had a turkey hen get attacked on Friday afternoon. The coyote obviously grabbed her in his mouth since her skin is ripped up on her right thigh and the left side of her back, and we can even see where it happened because feathers are scattered across the grass next to the goat pasture. As with the attack on Teddy the ram, I'm assuming the llamas didn't know the coyote was in the pasture until the hen was attacked, then they ran over and scared him off.

The turkey hen is so injured, unfortunately, we need to butcher her. She is one of this year's Thanksgiving turkeys that would be going to the processor on Friday, but it doesn't seem humane to let her suffer. Although she ran from us when we first found her, since we put her in the turkey house, she hasn't left. In fact, she hasn't even moved from the spot where we sat her down on the ground. And turkeys are not nice to one of their own that's injured.

I'm afraid we are going to be losing more goats, because they started going through the electric fence like it's not even hot, even though the fence tester says it is hot. Thursday as I was about to leave, I saw goats behind the chicken house, and I knew there wasn't anything I could do about it. I hate the feeling of helplessness. It started with four goats three years ago, and now they've convinced about 3/4 of the herd to follow them to greener pastures. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. They get alfalfa hay morning and night, and there is still plenty of green grass where they are, but they think there is better food to be found closer to the creek. I can't put them in the inner barn pasture, because that borders the buck pens, and when they were in there a couple weeks ago, one of the bucks jumped the fence. I don't know if anyone was in heat, but I've marked the calendar, so if someone kids in five months, I will know which one is Daddy.

I have some fencing ideas, but that takes time and money, and it's not something that's going to happen very quickly. This weekend, Mike is working on the fencing around the pond so the chickens, geese, and ducks will be safe.

1 comment:

Nancy K. said...

How brazen 'your' coyotes are, to still attack when you have two ~ apparently excellent ~ guard llamas on duty! I'd hate to imagine the carnage without the llamas.

I had three beautiful, Angora goats for a year. I loved them dearly. They were exquisite, adorable, extremely photogenic and provided me with lovely mohair, which I love blended with my Shetland fleeces. Unfortunately, they were just too darned difficult to keep fenced in. I use a lot of temporary fencing to move my flock into areas that aren't usually used for grazing. I find 4 strands of electric will hold my flock securely in areas where I only allow them when I'm home. But those darn goats just would not stay where I put them! They created SO much more work for me that I finally decided that for all the labor involved with keeping my beauties, I was better off selling the goats and buying (or bartering) mohair.

I do miss the personalities and antics of the goats, but I'm delighted with how much lower maintenance my flock is now that they're gone...


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