Monday, June 14, 2010
All is not well; I doubt some foul play; would the night were come! - Hamlet
We've been very perplexed and sad lately about our oldest flock of chickens. There had been trouble in the hen house. It seemed one of the hens in our flock of Dominiques had taken up the foul habit of "egg eating". That's right, egg eating. It happens.
Well, if hens are eating their own eggs, there is just not much reason to have a hen. And it's a behavior that can spread to the other hens, so it must be stopped as soon as possible.
My dad has been tending this flock and he goes way back with chickens, so he knew the hen needed to be caught and cooked with... I mean dealt with.
He had a plan which involved painting a color onto the suspected culprit as she left the nest box, literally, with egg on her face and catching her that night on the roost.
I thought that was a great idea and dug through my painting supplies.
I had a long internal debate with myself. What color to use? They are black and white chickens so white was out.
Red? Too gory, though it may foreshadow certain events in her short future.
Blue, I decided. Blue would show well and be emotionally neutral.
The next morning I ask my dad if he painted the culprit blue?
No he said in his classic Texan drawl. He hadn't needed to paint her blue, "because she already was blue."
Turns out it was not one of our lovely well behaved hens.
It was a rascally, pillaging Blue Jay!