Online and Offline Predators

I logged into the blog the other day and was informed by the blog software that I had a quarter of a million comments awaiting moderation!

Of course, none of these comments seemed to have anything to do with my blog. I was just being victimized by one of the botnets, whose zombie army of infected PC’s was endlessly uploading exhortations to buy various kinds of junk.

I disabled comments altogether to keep it down to a dull roar. Since spammers are the worst programmers ever, the botnet hasn’t really noticed, anymore than they noticed that not one of their last quarter-million comments has been posted. You can see why these guys aren’t holding down a real job.

But never mind that. It’s just a nuisance.

In the real world, our egg production has fallen precipitously, down to about 20 eggs per 100 hens per day, which is really dreadful. We got twice as many last year.

We’re not sure what happened. Yes, it’s the natural molting season, but usually the hens drift into molt at different times, with no sudden cratering of production. A huge drop like this is triggered by extraordinary stress, not the ordinary changing of the seasons.

I think a busy predator, perhaps a dog, possibly a coyote, maybe a child, chased the flock around for some time and scared them half to death. This really distresses the chickens, far more than when a predator such as a bobcat nabs a single chicken and leaps the fence with it.

So we’re keeping our eyes open in case it wasn’t a one-time event.

I expect the rate of lay will start picking up any day now. Karen’s talking about using lights again this winter, to encourage the hens to start laying again, and maybe we will.

Lousy intruders.

I Publish Books! Norton Creek Press

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Author: Robert Plamondon

Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, is an expert on free-range chickens, and is a semi-struggling novelist. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years. In addition, he holds down a day job doing technical writing at Workspot.

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