Saturday, March 31, 2012

Muff gone rogue

Now there's a provocative subject line! ;)


Remember the other day when I mentioned that one of our "Muff" hens (they are "bearded" English game hens) disappeared, and we thought she'd been eaten by the fox that attacked Eugenia the  duck? And then the Muff miraculously returned.


Well, the next day we were back to three Muffs, and I was sure Gordon was crazy and had miscounted the morning he said he found her at the coop door in the barn. I actually had him convinced that he had not seen the missing fourth Muff return.

Until Wednesday morning, when I went down to let the birds out and was greeted by a Muff running though the lower barn, squawking her head off.

We have an enclosed run for our chickens, but there is an open section at the top where they can fly out if they really exert themselves. Only two of the Muffs regularly do that. Occasionally one of the Sex-Links manages it, but they fly more like bumblebees than hummingbirds. Or the Hindenburg, sans explosion.

Anyway, we let the Muffs do what they want, as they were brought up free-ranging by the guy who gave them to me, and are wild and wiley.



Miss Muff has apparently gone rogue, showing up every few days, then disappearing again. Our best guess is that she's gone broody somewhere in our large barn. She's lucky our neighbour's dog nailed the resident raccoon while we were in Mexico. Poor raccoon! My friend brought King over every day while she did farm chores, to scare off predators. He's a great dog, but an incredible mighty hunter. He can bag a wild turkey. I've been told even armed turkey hunters find that difficult.

Anyway, Miss Muff is a bit safer in the barn without a raccoon in it, if that's where she's hiding out. I have been searching for her and I think I found her running around the upstairs yesterday, but I wasn't sure because I can't tell the four Muffs apart very well, so if all four aren't in front of me, I have no idea who's who.

Muff gone rogue! Fodder for my future book. I'll keep you posted.

And an update on Eugenia, who survived a fox attack almost three weeks ago but broke her leg. She is doing very well. I ended up taking her splint off a couple of days early, because she flew out of her confinement cage straight into the duck bath, and got the splint all wet (but she was REALLY happy to have a bath!) So I am keeping her confined for a few more days without the splint. I don't want any randy drakes jumping her and hurting her leg.

The injured leg is a bit swollen but she is putting weight on it and it seems to have healed without any deformities. We'll see how it goes. It definitely isn't 100% yet, and I'm not sure if she'll have a permanent limp or not, but otherwise she's doing fine: no infection, her usually happy self, and she still hates me. But she was a good girl, lying on her back on Gordon's lap while I took off the splint and trimmed her claws. I'll keep you posted on Eugenia, too!

Happy weekend.



13 comments:

  1. It sounds exciting with the chicken, I wonder where she is hiding. Nice to hear that the duck is better.

    Hugs
    Elna

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  2. I think you need to put nail polish on the Muffs to tell who is who. Yes, we will be adopting Annie and Audrey. I just haven't had time to go to the shelter but they will be staying with us. Back to 6 again. Deb

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    1. Yay! They belong with you. :)

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  3. Hi Nat. Thanks for the hug. I really need it! One of my chickens is very ill and is in my bathroom, she probably passed away by now (I'm at work). It broke my heart. It was the chicken I named Genny after our blogger friend Genny. This one wasn't from a fox, Genny just got sick, she never molted last year and she was bare-baked. If seems if a chicken doesn't molt right in the fall it may get ill the following year for no reason and die. We've had a few that just died after not molting like that. Anyway, between Genny and the guineas, I'm bumming and hating farm life. :( Sometimes I don't want anymore animals...

    Sorry for venting way off topic. I'm very glad Eugenia's leg is almost all better! That's amazing news! You're a great duck-mama, Nat! If anyone ever asks me anything about ducks, I'll refer them to you, the pro!

    ~Lynn

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    1. Oh LYnn, I hope your chicken Genny will be okay. I remember that hen.

      I find this part of farm life very difficult, dealing with the loss and illness of animals. We do what we can to prevent it but it's tough. I know how you feel about your guineas, too.

      I think I need to get a veterinary manual or something...

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  4. You had me at the title. : )

    Between rogue muffs and sex links, you may have to add one of those Adult Material warnings.

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    1. Cog Dis, Blogger put this in my Spam folder!! I guess they didn't like "sex links". HAHAHAHA!

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  5. Remeber to add "Duck Whisperer" to your resume!
    FANTASTIC news about Eugenia.
    Jane x

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    1. Huge relief. We need to get her to stay in her very large run!

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  6. Glad to hear that Eugenia is doing better. That silly chicken. Wonder where she is going. She must have found a good place to stay. Maybe the other chickens bullied her. Can't wait for the update on the chicken.

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    1. She's disappeared again! It's driving me nuts.

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  7. Such lovely chickens! You may think I am crazy..but here's what I have been doing since last year when a raccoon murdered 3 of our chickens over night.I keep a radio on,right outside the chicken house, tuned to a talk station.(There is an outlet outside the barn next to the chicken house)Most predators are afraid of humans, & this keeps them away. So far, it has worked...

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    1. Thanks Vicki! I have the radio in the barn cranked up but that fox is way too bold. I think I need a bigger radio!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!