Danger from Above

We have many breeds of hens but the Speckled Sussex is one of our favourites. And they often treat us like their favourites:


Today our neighbouring farmer called with one which was rather sorry for itself


She has been found in the hedge yesterday and the reason was a bit of a mystery. The flock she is part of is well fenced and no one has escaped – they would not want to. We do have foxes around but not close by recently, nor would this be a way of operating for a fox.

When we had a closer look at her injuries


as well as damage to the back there were small incisions under the wings. Our only explanation was


a buzzard. We do have lots of them around. The RSPB says:

“Prey up to 500g is taken by active predation; anything heavier is usually carrion or seriously enfeebled individuals.

Gamebirds are sometimes taken, though these make up only a tiny proportion of the diet. Buzzards are more likely to feed on carrion.”

Well… she weighs more than 500g but a buzzard must have come in


and picked her up. Maybe too much to carry or perhaps she gave a fight but the predator must have let go over the hedge.

We set her up in medical quarters but she really wanted to go up the stairs to her normal bed


This particular flock does not currently have a cockerel and we wondered if this made a difference to giving warning of danger. Tonight we have put one of our young cockerels in there to act as security guard.

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