An Unwelcome Guest Visits the Chicken Farm… Again
By no accident, this magnificent Harris Hawk stopped by the ranch this morning for yet another attempt to feast on my flock. His near success last time prompted me to hang aviary netting atop the chicken yard – and he looks pissed!
The handsome Harris hawk hunts cooperatively in pairs or trios. They surround their prey, and flush it for another to catch, or take turns chasing it.
MEASUREMENTS: The Harris’ Hawk has a body length of 18 – 24 inches, a wingspan of 3 1/2 – 4 feet, and weighs 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 pounds.
These hawks are found in semiarid habitats like savannas, chaparrals, scrub prairies, and mesquite and saguaro deserts. They range from the southwestern United States through Central America and into much of the drier habitats in South America.
For more information on the Harris Hawk go here.
A Hen Knows Best…
Chickens never lay more than one egg per day. If the eggs are not collected, and a sufficient number of eggs are allowed to remain in the nest, the hen may stop laying eggs and start brooding. When the hen leaves the nest after laying an egg, it cools which suspends the development of the embryo inside. If the temperature remains between 45F and 65F, the embryos will remain viable for as long as two weeks. When the hen becomes broody and sits on her eggs for three weeks, all of the eggs will hatch at about the same time. This is why it is normal for the hen to leave the nest after laying.
- Buff Orpington: friendly, docile, excellent layer, has broody tendencies
Remember, not all hens will sit on eggs…ever. However, some breeds have very strong tendencies to become broody, or be inclined to incubate eggs.
Here are a few common broody breeds…
• Light Brahmas
• Dark Cornish
• Buff Rocks
• Cuckoo Marans
• Cochin Bantams
• Cornish Bantams