We had a chicken tragedy overnight. I woke up to the sound of a distressed chicken, ran outside and wrenched the side off the hen house, and came face-to-snout with a badger. Eating my chickens! Bob and Harriet the Barbu D'Uccles, and Sam the Japanese bantam live in this house.
The badger maimed Harriet, pulled her off her nest and was eating her from the leg up. She was so injured I had to put her out of her misery. Her nest is abandoned now.
Bob and Sam were both alive, but Bob is sporting a serious limp. They survived overnight but both could still succumb to stress. I've put them on a course of antibiotics and multi-vitamins to prevent secondary infections, a common response to stress.
Dakota chased the badger despite my calling her off - badgers can do a lot of harm to dogs - and she's sore this morning but I can't find any bite wounds. I hope she's just sore from the exertion. I've given her some dog aspirin too.
I'm so heart-broken about my little pair. Carol, the other Barbu D'Uccle hen, was in a maternity pen with her foster chicks and was thankfully spared. If Bob heals enough to fertilise eggs, that will be some comfort. I've already put out a call for some Barbu D'Uccle hatching eggs from other breeders. I hope to rebuild my stock one way or another. It would be sad to have a garden without those sweet little birds scratching around.
Sometimes nature is just so mean.