About a week and a half after having our chickens outside free-ranging, there came along a sly fox. There also may have been a hawk. Anyway, one sad Sunday afternoon, that sly fox, with or without the help of a hawk, carried off seven of our chickens. We lost another two a few days later. My plan had been to invest in a movable electric fence to better protect my flock but those suckers are expensive. We’re talking around $400 all in. I just hadn’t saved that much yet. But alas, nature had it way with my birds in just a week.
So without the pricey electric fence what were we to do? I was at a complete loss. I did not want to cage my birds in a permanent run. The whole idea behind getting these backyard chickens in the first place was to take care of bugs and to have a happy life. We opted for another solution, that also would expand the farm. Geese. Oh yes.
We visited a farm not long ago in Plymouth, ME and when they started their farm they had been loosing several chickens each day. Until they got a guard goose. In the 12 years since they’ve had geese with their flock they haven’t lost a single chicken to a predator! We were convinced. Get yourself a guard goose or two. I found ours by doing a quick craigslist search and found a wonderful family in Wiscassett, about 40 minutes away, who had a huge farm and were looking to downsize their flock.
Meet Lucy Goosey, a one-year-old White African goose, and Mabel, a one-and-a-half-year-old Toulouse goose. They are the perfect addition to the Chickadee Farm. When they feel something isn’t right, you know about it! Honking galore and spread wings while running. If I were a fox I’d be totally running away.
While were were at the Wiscassett farm we ended up with a few other treasures to bring home. In the goat barn Luke and the owner could hear some cheeping.
Low and behold, a little hen had found a cardboard box high on a shelf and hatched herself a little clutch of ten fuzzy chicks. They couldn’t have been more than a day or two old!
Having already heard our story of losing or chickens, thus the need for the geese, the owner immediately asked if we wanted to just take them!
They kept three and we took the other seven home.
They are Old English Game bantams! Each of the seven is completely different, more evident as the weeks pass, and I thought it a good opportunity for progression pictures of the cutest fuzzy chicks you ever did see!
We haven’t named any, mostly waiting until we know rooster from hen. What would you name them?
These closeups really don’t show you how tiny they are. But think golf ball. Seriously. Golf ball size cuteness.
I think my next challenge will be breeding chickens. Bantams are strictly ornamental, and while they lay eggs and can be great little broody hens, they aren’t good for meat. I think I’d like to try my hand at breeding and hatching chicks. I’m pretty in love with them <3
Look for more progression pictures in the Animals Category!