Monday, July 27, 2009

1,001 ways to die

The last few days I've had a rash of animal mortality. A turkey and a chicken where the last two animals to off themselves, and I thought I'd write up how they went.
The picture above is the side of my flatbed equipment trailer. There's a gap about 2" wide between the body of the trailer and the strap that runs along the edge, used to tie stuff down. You wouldn't think that this would be someplace a turkey could kill itself, but this is where the turkey met his end.
Apparently, sometime last night or this morning the turkey thought that the top of the trailer would be a good place to go, and hopped up there. After investigating in a typical eager turkey fashion, he probably decided to walk off the edge and drop the 18" to the ground. But one of his legs fell into this gap on the side of the trailer, and over the side he went. I found him hanging there, upside down, in shock, and after looking at the broken leg and the wing he broke struggling, I decided he wasn't going to make it, which is a pity, because he was a nice bird. I'll smoke him I think, because smoked turkey breast sandwiches are very yummy. Sometimes my menu is entirely dictated by my animals. Last winter i was eating veal. This is another case.

These are the stairs to the trailer that I use for brooding. They're a typical stair design, and you wouldn't immediately clue in that a white leghorn chicken could kill itself on this stair, but it did, right where the picture was taken.

The leghorns are free ranging around the farm yard, and at some point the leghorn hopped up on these stairs. maybe as a low roost, or to take a nap. Leghorns are usually pretty good at survival, but this particular leghorn, when she decided to leave, got a toe into the expanded metal and got stuck, hanging head-down. I found her dead this morning.
The thing about leghorns is that they're itty bitty little birds; even fresh, they're barely worth eating. As this one died at some point in the past, and it's been really hot, she became a dog treat. The dogs are pretty clear that dead chickens are theirs.

1 comment:

Nels said...

That sucks. We have had a bad run with animals this week as well. Two turkeys one night, lost to a coyote or raccoon. Ripped the poor poults right through the 2" poultry netting. And another decided to play outside of its aviary and got snagged in the middle of the night. We also recently bought a dog and think that he startled our large white turkey (easily 25-30 lbs) and the poor guy broke his leg and I had to kill him later that day. So we lost four turkeys in about one week. And this heat is not helping!