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CSI: Paradigm Farms

I have talked about our stray flock of chickens before. They took up residence here about seven years ago. I have what would best be described as a love/hate relationship with the chickens. You might recall my frantic chick rescue that I wrote about: It’s Raining Chicks Part I and It’s Raining Chicks Part II. The chicks are precious and too cute for words and I enjoy watching the chickens peck around sometimes.

On the other hand they drive me crazy at feeding times when I am trying to prepare feed. I swear I have pulled muscles swatting the chickens away from the feedbags as I am getting feed ready. I turn my back for a couple of seconds to scoop some more feed or something and the chickens I had just swatted away would be right back at the feedbags. It got so out of hand at one point this summer that I would have a lunge whip by the feedroom door as I was getting feed ready. And yes, we put out scratch feed for them every day so they weren’t hungry, in fact these things were FAT!

The chickens hanging out with the goats in one of the pastures

Two chicks that Jason saved. They were separated from mom and wandering around out in the rain. He dried them with a hair dryer and and put them in the cooler with a fluffy bed of shavings until the next morning when we re-united them with mom. I don’t think she knew they were missing.

It is interesting to observe chicken society. I have found it to be quite ruthless. There is a patriarch rooster who arrived with the original bunch and is still around today. There was also a guinea hen that arrived with the original flock that finally died a couple of years ago. My god that thing was LOUD. Anyway, the patriarch rooster is vicious and has many murders under his belt. If another rooster or chicken looks at him wrong, doesn’t do as he wishes, or for that matter if he just slept wrong you are going to die. I do not enjoy finding the sad remnants of one of his rampages. I keep waiting for him to die but it seems he is going to live forever.

The patriarch rooster. I think he is more like “the Don” – you know like the head of a mob family. He is ruthless.

The flock had nine hens and three roosters including the patriarch rooster as of about two months ago. As of this week we have one hen and two roosters. And no bodies. Hence the title of this post of CSI: Paradigm Farms. What the heck happened to the chickens???

One of the other roosters. So far he is still with us.

I’ve posted this picture before but it is too Green Acres-ish not to post again. My dad called me from his cell phone to come out of my house and look. I came out and looked. I saw the rooster catching a ride down the driveway on the Gator. Only on this farm!! The rooster just stood there riding along down the driveway with my dad and Bugle the dog. Crazy.

Jason’s theory is that it was too cold this winter and they died from cold. My response is that they’ve made it through every other winter and come on, we’ve had snow on the ground less than 24 hours total this winter. Also where are the bodies?? Chicks

My dad’s theory is that they have fallen prey to a hungry hawk. I guess I can buy that but I usually notice when the hawks are flying around and keeping an eye on things, and I have actually seen this massive hawk swoop down out of the sky one time and grab a young chicken. Jason and I were standing in the grass in front of the barn when it happened literally right in front of us. I burst into tears while Jason stood there sort of stunned for a minute and then started laughing at me. I have not noticed hawks scoping things out and since we’re down eight chickens I think I would have at least noticed them at some point in the last few weeks.

I’ve posted this one before in one of the It’s Raining Chicks posts. Jason after the chicken rodeo with two of his rescues.

My theory: they moved on for whatever reason. Maybe they decided they didn’t like it here anymore. Maybe they were sick of the crazy, mean rooster. Maybe someone else offered them more money or a better benefits package. They simply showed up here so who’s to say they would not have moved on again? Jason had a hearty laugh when I told him my theory.

To summarize we are down eight chickens and no bodies have been found. I didn’t think I would care but I will admit I am a bit sad about it. I would like to know what happened to them though.

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