A new adventure in chicken raising yesterday. I was at home all day and had the coop open. The girls roamed from the woods to our driveway digging bugs and eating tiny gravel. Mid-afternoon I was in the kitchen when they began screeching such as I had never heard. I ran to the window just as a hawk swooped and settled on a garden post. I ran outside screaming my own head off and the hawk lifted away, flying higher but continuing to circle my yard.
None were taken or injured but I was still angry and the hens were terrified. They crouched under bushes and brush, silent as death. I fetched some moldy cheese from the fridge which made sixteen girls brave enough to follow me to the coop. The other five would have none of it.
When the cheese ran out I tried oats. They darted out for snacks and then back to safety. No way were they crossing that thirty feet of open grass. At sunset I opened the coop again. The five rejoined the flock and everyone came out for a last walkabout before settling inside for the night, nobody worse for the wear.
Waiting for sleep I tried but failed to muster any sympathy for the hawk. My yard is overrun with chipmunks upon which I’d gladly have him feast. Compared to a fat hen I expect a chipmunk is a great deal more work for far fewer calories. I’ve decided neither to forgive nor blame him. He’s just being a hawk. But I’m watching for him now, armed not with a dishtowel but a bucket of hard green tomatoes to throw at him if he decides to terrorize my girls again. That is, if they ever come out of their coop again.
I pray this rainy day is full of gentle kindness for you and yours.
~ peace & prayers, pastor annette