Just a quick one today as there has been lots to do here in preparation for the next 'big freeze'. Hay racks have been filled, shelters have been re-strawed, troughs defrosted and blah blah blah all the other stuff that goes on daily here., sorry just can't be bothered to list it all.
Haven't got any new alpaca shots to post so here's one of a chicken. Our little Sicilian Buttercup, Doodle (nickname 'The Stiletto').
About 5 years ago when we got our first chickens, Betty and Wilma, I saw Wilma stalk a mouse, pounce on it and then swallow it whole. Couldn't believe my eyes, didn't know chickens had it in them to be so callous, so violent, so vicious. Wilma was a 'Gingernut Ranger' variety and really was a ranger, she used to visit all of our neighbours and became well known about these parts.
Doodle is not so much of a ranger but the other day I watched her catch a shrew!
Do chickens do this regularly? Doodle didn't carry out the kill the way I had imagined though. I had imagined that she would have sidled up silently from behind and with a smooth and lightning fast movement she would have 'slotted' the unsuspecting shrew, killing it instantly. I imagined she would have then bent over, wiped the glistening blade on the pelt of the mouse before crossing herself whilst muttering under her breath a barely audible but brief prayer. She would have then retreated back into the shadows as crowds of other shrews clamoured around gasping at the shocking work of the stealthy killer moving amongst them. But no, she just jumped and pecked it on the back of the neck before slamming it against a rock. She then ran off with it in her beak pursued by the enormous Dottie and little Lulu, our two other chooks.
The picture below shows the mercilless killer running around the garden, the lifeless body dangling from her razor sharp beak.
Gone up in my estimation, chickens. They're not laying any eggs yet but they aren't just lazing about as previously thought.