Life in the batting cage

Phyllis in a more lushly feathered phase

The hawk (a hawk?) came back, and attacked poor Phyllis, our sole Ameraucana (blue/green egg layer). Luckily, I was around, and chased the bird off. What a horrible potential death, though: and yes, don’t chide me about the “circle of life” and all that: the chicken doesn’t die immediately, it gets ripped apart, bite by bite, while the hawk straddles its neck and tail with its talons. Ouch.

So she’s missing a few feathers now, and is a bit more of a chicken chicken. The attack led me to move one fence line in about 30′. Their run is now about 45′ wide and maybe 50-60′ long. And I undertook a big crafting project: I covered the whole thing with deer netting, and sewed the 7.5′ wide pieces together.

Ice caught on the deer netting at the coop’s eave

Thus, the batting cage (thank you, Tom).

He suggested making a chicken wire geodesic dome, a la Bucky Fuller: hey, El, we could electrify it, he said.

7 responses to “Life in the batting cage

  1. Lisa at Greenbow

    Poor Phyllis. I would be traumatized too if a hawk came after me. Nice batting cage.

  2. Gotta love guys’ industriousness. Electrify it, huh? Sorry Phyllis is traumatized, but maybe the attack was just a good excuse to make all the chickens more secure. I love the icicles, by the way. So foreign out here in CA.

  3. Lisa: I know! Poor little baby. I think she’s coming along.

    Bri: Yeah, but this guy’s industriousness is really his just saying “El go build that as you are the builder in the house.” I can read between the lines. But I think they’re safe enough now. And yes, icicles and snow ARE quite pretty, even to my Midwestern eyes!

  4. Goodness, the fox is enough to contend with, I am glad we have no birds of prey around here that would take out a chicken, we have sparrow hawks, but that’s all

  5. That’s scary! We built a similar enclosure for our chickens after some hawk attacks last year, and so far it’s remained impenetrable. A hawk has been stalking them for a few days, going so far as to sit in a tree right next to the pen, and though he’s freaked out the ladies he hasn’t been able to get in.

  6. Uphilldowndale: Well, everyone loves chicken! Hawks have been our only real issue. The henhouse is really secure or raccoons would also be an issue.

    Meg: The problem with hawks is they don’t give up. Ever. I found one in the batting cage about two weeks ago. That’s right: inside it. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty (for the hawk). Thankfully, the chickens were still inside their coop at the time!

  7. Poor little phyllis… Its a good thing that phyllis is okay now. It’s really important to have good batting cage.

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