Highs and Lows

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Yesterday was opening day at the Farmers’ Market.   We were up very early to pick veggies and were able to take a good variety of great food.  It was nice to see some of our friends and even though the crowd was small by the standards of most farmers’ markets, it is encouraging to see more and more people rejecting industrial food and returning to the wholesome goodness of fresh, organic, locally-grown whole foods.

So that was a high.

But later in the day, when I went to check on the animals, at one of the new coops I found a pile of feathers, 4 frightened chicks hiding under the coop and 12 missing.

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We’ve been through this enough for me to be pretty sure I knew what happened.  A hawk had taken one of the chicks, sending the rest of them into a panic.  The missing 11 must have flown over the fence. 

Later, while searching for the missing, my suspicion was confirmed.  I saw the hawk, which had presumably returned for more.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a hawk attack.  This one is quite a punch in the gut.  We’ve spent a lot of time with these chicks, we’ve grown fond of them, and we have high hopes for them. 

We searched until it was too dark to see.  Two of the missing wandered home on their own.  Just as darkness was falling I found four more, roosting in a small tree, and they let me gather them up and carry them home.

So, as of now, we have one missing and presumed dead, and five more missing but likely alive as of last night.  Those five were at great risk roosting unprotected.  I’m hoping they turn up today.

Predator attacks are part of farm living.  But I don’t think I’ll ever get used to them.

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