On flock protectors

Don’t mess with her

It’s a good thing that Ruby is in with the chickens!

The dog was whining terribly, and as I couldn’t really hear anything over the music I was playing, I let her out…to see a hawk in the chicken run, fighting with our hen turkey.

Ruby got the upper hand, I have not a clue how.  The hawk was terribly injured, so I put it out of its misery.

Ruby is fine, though flustered.

Don’t blame me for this one, says Little Edie

20 responses to “On flock protectors

  1. Dang! Ruby’s a badass! I wouldn’t mess with her, no ma’am!

  2. Little Edie is SO freakin’ cute! We have a cat that looks just like that named Celeste.

  3. Might not want to post the pic/ story on the web…. They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Sounds like you did the right thing, though.

    • Oy! LB, thanks, but, well, it’s not like I was hunting the thing. And: the poor creature. Ruby really worked it over, with Earl’s help. She outweighed it by about 5x. She’s only got a nick, too.

      • Yeah, the mister says “that’s a ‘shoot, shovel, and shut up’ situation …” though of course we believe you did do the right thing. Hope all goes well.

        Glad to hear Ruby can hold her own. I owe you an email back on the turkey advice.

  4. I think chicken vocalizations are so interesting. I just thought they clucked. Recently, the rooster sounded like a siren, followed first by every girl stopping dead in her chickie girl tracks and sirening right back, then flying for the coop, where every last one of them started clucking their wee heads off. Then, a hawk flew into the tree over the coop and I understood the clucking and thankfully the hawk flew off, though my husband went after the shotgun.
    Bless the turkey!

  5. Way to go Ruby! Who needs a dog when you have a guard turkey. I’m glad all your chickens are OK. We have had only one hawk attack and both roosters were up for the task of defense…but of course now, with them both gone I may need a guard turkey of my own.

    What a beautiful cat.

  6. That is one tough Turkey!

  7. PS,Love the Gingerbread house.

  8. Way to go Ruby….way to kick those talons! You go girl!

  9. El, you made me snort out loud! The angle of that last shot, pure gold…you’re a gem you witty thing you!

  10. amazing! we are having a number of hawks hits down our way too. i set up shade cloth way for quick cover. i know the hawks are out and about when the girls are stubbornly tied to shade cloth way.

  11. Dang! That’s a badass turkey.

  12. I was about to ‘warn’ you about the pic too. Then again it could be just a NJ thing…so I didnt.

    I *&^% them!! They killed all my pigeons! They are nasty predators. The geese helped to keep them away from the chickens…but the pigeons didnt make it : (.

    Aren’t there enough wild bunnies they can go after? I dont get it. “Ruby for hire” : ).

    Happy Holidays!!!!

  13. Oh wow! What a strong brave girl! You are lucky to have her. I love your blog by the way… I am going to do my first veggie plot this year, and can’t wait! You have inspiried me a lot, so thanks!

  14. Thanks, CC. It was a really bizarre day.

    Kate, no’m, you wouldn’t want to mess with her if she had her Irish up.

    Hi Wendy! Celeste sounds like a much more refined name than a cat named after a cat-lady spinster debutante. A lady with a great sense of style, mind you: but, Edie’s just our kool barn kat.

    LB, yeah, I do feel bad…but then again, Ruby felt her babies (chickens) were threatened. She was right of course because a hawk nabbed a bantam the next day (and this time the dog chased it off).

    Vocalizations, Kimberly? It’s a flipping language, I do swear! Listen closely for the low trilling whistle they practically whisper if they see a sky-scraping threat; listen to their cluckety-cluck happiness as they discover something tasty under some leaves; watch their reaction when one of them makes their eggy war-whoop. That we eat these sentient beings still astounds me. But we do.

    Mike, don’t tell her she’s beautiful: I think she’s a bit of a snob as it is. But yeah, Ruby is our star. Sigh. I love that bird.

    John, she’s all claw. But thanks! The girl made it at a local museum last week, a fundraiser (gahd knows we don’t eat that crap…and she learned that indeed it’s “just a decoration”).

    Mavis, you can see why she has my forever/devotion.

    Ah Randi, I was just trying to figure out if I even *should* photo the poor thing when who should show up, all Cheshire-like.

    Shelly, just make sure the cover covers, and that they have a choice of safe harbors if they do get in. A turkey helps too…but that’s not every henyard’s option, I realize.

    Jules, ayuh. Amen.

    WF! Happy duck confit to you! And can you believe all those feathers? Anyway, yeah, thanks, I know that hawks have their place but it gets tough when you get so attached to your own birds. I hate to think of them as “always bad,” but when they circle back for a better look, they are.

    Bon soir, Ashley. I am so glad to learn you’ll be a garden guru too. It’s absolutely fun, getting dirty and then actually being able to eat what you grow. It’s like: what? Getting paid to eat!

    Emily, well. They can stand their ground pretty well. It’s one of the reasons Franklin wanted them for the national bird, because they’re rather fearless. But: I Heart Ruby.

  15. The more I look at the Cat/Hawk pic I realise it’s very Hitchcockian.A great pic!

  16. Bless you for putting the hawk out of its misery. I’m terribly sorry you are having hawk troubles. My family has lost chickens and also a lovely cat and one of her kittens, all to a hawk. They can be fearsome creatures, but I wish them no harm.

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