Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

So far, so good...harriers, but not hawks

After much agonizing (and Mike giving me several pep talks), we've been letting the hens out to range again. I kept them in for over a week, scared that the hawk would come back. But, as Mike rightly pointed out, we didn't get into this to keep hens in a coop.

We haven't seen that young red-tailed hawk again, but we do have a pair of very large raptors that flew over to take a look. Luckily, they ignored the hens, although we saw them make several strikes in the back pasture. We think that they're northern harriers, and they don't seem interested in chickens.

After a few days of sticking close to the coop, the hens are now ranging freely again. One of the speckled Sussex was on my back porch yesterday!

We'll finish the pasture fence in the spring, and I'm getting some roosters. Roosters are supposed to be very good at spotting danger and warning their harems to take cover. Then the boys gallantly run at the danger to drive it away. Roosters have successfully fought off hawks and dogs, so they say--or die trying. Of course, we'll have to be very careful. Roosters can hurt us quite badly if they get their dander up, since they have wings, claws, spurs and a beak.

In the meantime, I have my fingers crossed.