While I appreciate our neighbor greatly for feeding our animals when we go on vacation, you would think he'd give a call if the food ran out instead of just not feeding our nursing doe (rabbit). Came home to half the litter lost, Peter (cotton tail) is still doing well, but we lost 4 of our kits and the food was totally gone. I gave her a huge pile of timothy grass and went straight to TSC for more pellets. Everyone seems to be doing fine now, so it looks like the losses were due to lack of food which is so so frustrating because if we hadn't been on vacation it wouldn't have happened.
We suffered 2 chicken losses while we were on vacation as well... 2 of our 4 dark Cornish. We did get a phone call about that... I guess part of a bird was left in the run so the neighbor took care of it. We had ANOTHER loss last night too, I'm so over this! Our last dark Cornish roo was taken from inside the run, now we have just one DC pullet left from that group. I don't get it, the fence was not disturbed at all, it's floppy at the top so I doubt anything could successfully climb it, the only thing I can think is an owl. Would an owl take a chicken if it was roosting in a tree/bush rather than the coop? We have several great horned owls here, my kids actually talk to them and they call back. The run has an open top because of the rose of Sharon bush and I have not yet been able to get my young flock to go in the coop at night (they are scared of the hens and prefer to sleep in the bush).
So my meat chicken project started with 5 Delaware and 5 Dark Cornish (mix of genders) and all that is left is one Delaware pullet and one Dark Cornish pullet :( My young flock is down to just three birds, the Delaware, the dark Cornish and an orpington; the coop is down to 3 hens and a rooster. I sometimes pick up the young birds and put them in the coop, but they just hop back out. If I lock them all in there at night should I be worried about their safety? The hens can be brutal. I need to do SOMETHING because I can't bear to lose any more animals, it's been a bad bad week.
In other news... I had a weird egg this morning. Shell was thinner than normal, misshapen, and much lighter than any other egg I've ever collected from my girls. My 4yo pushed through the top and cracked it. Is this a sign of something bad or just a random occurrence? I do have oyster shell, but they always dump the bowl so I haven't had it in there lately. This isn't typical of a first egg, right? I don't think any of the young girls are laying yet, and I doubt they'd go up into the coop to use a nest box seeing how scared they are of the big girls.
I'm not sure why it rotated my pictures on upload, but I can't figure out how to turn them back.
The eggs cooked up just fine for breakfast, just the shell was strange.