Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke
Happy New Year

Thursday, April 03, 2014


"Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me"

Remember these lyrics from the show Hee-Haw 
composed and sung by Roy Clark and Buck Owens?

These are the lyrics running through my head this 
week as I continue to count losses.  So far I am 
down 6 fat hens.  My neighbor is down over 20.  We
are nearing $300 in replacement cost not counting
the eggs production that we are out.
I can only explain the loss of one.  She got caught
crossing the road (oh why did the chicken?) and was
hit by a car.  All the others have simply disappeared
leaving nary a trace of wing, beak or feather.

To bring even greater agony upon me, my precious
new mama cat David* had disappeared along with her
four new kittens, Luke, Leia, Han and Chewy.  David
moved them out of the nest box as usual and still
was showing up for breakfast each morning but the
last two mornings she has not been here.  The
neighbors have not seen her and her kittens either so
I fear the worst.
Plus, look how this stupid post is appearing on my 
blog today and I can't fix it.   

And so I sing....."Gloom, despair and agony on me.....
*Happy Addendum: David showed up for breakfast and
came from the direction of my storeroom so maybe 
her kittens are safe too and hidden there. 


  1. aww honey.. I'm so sorry.

    cant imagine what happened but could something be around that scared them off? I know ya have those outdoor cameras. Have you seen anything?
    anyway- I've love to offer you a Chicken.. please let me,K.. It's falls under the "Play It Forward" thing. of Course you must name it Sonny giggle giggle..
    write so we can make this happen.
    Love ya Bunches

  2. Sonny
    Thanks for the offer but I am not adding to my flock until I can resolve the issue. My son is coming this weekend and we are going to try and enclose the goat pen behind the barn again but use chicken wire this time and give them enough room to free range in an enclosure for a while. Whatever is happening is happening out of the camera range. I will let you know. Luv U 2

  3. You have a mystery on your hands, Annie. I hope it can be solved and resolved and your gloom can be lifted.

  4. Jeanie
    Thanks. I just added that David was here for breakfast this morning. WooHoo! That helped a bunch.


  5. Oh, Annie, I am so sorry about the loss of your chickens. I sort of keep track of your flock and it makes me sad when something happens to them.

    Good news about David, though. I'm happy she is still here taking care of her kitties.

  6. Oh, Annie, that's terrible. So terrible. And David disappearing...what is that about? Oh - David came for breakfast. A little less gloom, thank heavens! Maybe she's afraid of a predator?
    And why oh why did that chicken have to cross the road? I hope you find out the answer to the disappearing hens!

  7. Oh no - - my goodness. How can we replace at least one for you ? I see that Sonny has offered.
    I remember my Mom's silent tears whenever another animal would dig under the pen and grab a chick and tip toe away. It is heart breaking.
    Hang in there.
    - Munir

  8. One of the reasons I am hesitant about getting chickens is I know they can go missing. I am the type of person that will see them as pets.

    I am glad the cat came back. Not the very next day (you will have to talk to her about that) but back.

  9. I am so sorry - but very glad that David came to breakfast this morning. Hugs.

  10. I'm glad I read to the end of this least David is still there and hopefully the kittens.

    OMG that's hard to believe the chickens could just disappear. I hope you resolve this mystery soon.

    I understand you wanting to get any more chickens until you know what's happening to them. Good luck and keep us posted:~)

  11. Glad to hear David is back, moving to her new nest may have taken more time than she planned. Sorry about your girls (hens). Hope you find out what is getting them. I had a neighbors cat that was getting mine, so the rule of 3 S's was applied.

  12. Sorry to hear about your chickens. I hope you solve the mystery before any more go missing.

    I'm glad David came to her senses. I hope her kittens are safe & sound as well.

  13. Phew, that red post script was a happy sight. I was feeling badly about your chickens but was feeling awful about David.
    Is there no distress noise from the chickens?? I sometimes think I should get chickens but the thought of predators keep me chickenless. Hope you can remedy the problem.

  14. Hmmm. There is definitely a wiley predator. Weasels? Raccoons? That feral dog? David may have moved her brood far away? I hope you get this figured out soon because it is distressing and sad.

  15. Oh I'm glad about David turning up, I was feeling as down as you until I read that. Sorry for your other loses and the weird typesetting on your post. What is going on!!

  16. Chickens have all kinds of predators, but that seems like an awful lot gone missing in a short time. I hope this puzzle gets solved. Poor chicks.

  17. Assuming they didn't all leave in protest of their names...I'll say we always blame racoons.
    Lets say it is, and lets say you needed a cure, and emailed me I might share.
    I am sorry to hear of all of your troubles and wish it weren't so. You've described something well above and beyond the expected 5% death loss.
    If sympathetic thoughts mean anything and could do some good, here they come. c
    ps as you probably have figured out, Hee Haw was my equivalent to Seasame Street.

  18. I'm glad David showed up at least, hopefully her kittens are not far behind. Strange about the chickens though. Do you have a new predator in your neighbourhood?

  19. Glad to hear David the cat showed up again.

    As for "Gloom, Despair, Agony" it was rarely sung, if ever, by the both of them. Usually it was a group of four, three regulars and a guest star.

  20. Can you move your camera in the direction of the hen house. Could it be coyotes? I am sorry...such a bummer.

  21. I'm behind on blog reading again! So glad the kitty situation is resolved. So sorry about the chickens. A mystery.

  22. Nancy
    I have made a post script on my entry today that I have located where David has moved her kittens. It is funny because she has put them right next to their food dish under my Toro lawn mower that has been in need of repair for a couple of years. Guess she knows I am not going to get around to that.

    Laying hens are pretty expensive and it makes me ponder the possibility of chicken rustlers. We have a lot of auctions that include the sale of nice fat hens and with my neighbor losing so many, I have to include humans in my list of possible predators.

    My chickens are free range. Rarely are they taken from the hen house. Something comes up on our property and grabs dinner. The eggs from a free range hen are much more healthy for consumption but not so healthy for the chicken. However the chickens have a much better life to free range than they do in pens or cages. Most of the time between the guinea fowl sounding a warning and Slim taking off after the predator, we don't have much loss. That is why this is so crazy.

    David has a lot to teach her children so perhaps she is holding classes and couldn’t' get away to come to breakfast. I made a mistake early on by naming all my animals. That automatically makes them pets and you build an attachment to them.

    Elephant's Child
    Yes and today I even know where she has moved her kittens:)

    Yes I have located the place where David has hidden her kittens and did not lose any hens yesterday so things are looking up. I may even have made some headway in resolving the predator issue. Cross your fingers.

    I'm not saying if we have ever applied those rules especially because that is rule #3. This did all begin when two of our neighbor ladies from down the hill began taking a daily walk with a pack of their dogs past my neighbors house and ending at my house. After they returned to their home, their dogs, now knowing the route, returned on their own and we were having to constantly chase them off our property. My neighbor has made a million threats to shoot the dogs but the owners have seemed unconcerned. I visited with them yesterday and told them I had cameras on my property and if I caught their dogs on my property with my chickens in their mouths we were going to small claims court and they would be required to pay me for the chickens. I told them I had already gotten this information from the County Sheriff. Their dogs did not return yesterday afternoon. It looks like they didn't care if the neighbor shot them but they sure didn't want to be out any money if the dogs got caught stealing my chickens. Oh and I was taking pictures of them with the dogs the whole time we were talking so there wouldn't be any chance of them saying the dogs weren't theirs if push came to shove. Still might not be their dogs doing this but I am feeling a little more confident about it now.

  23. cube
    I might have solved the mystery if you read my answer to Brighid above. And did find David's hiding spot for her kittens. Good try on your April Fools joke. I'm not sure I would have caught it if someone else had not. Lol

    Arkansas Patti
    That is the big question. Usually the hen raises a ruckus then the guinea fowl sound an alarm then Slim in on her way to save the day. This has all been done very silently and with great stealth. Even the hawks cannot steal them silently.

    Last year my neighbors had a troublesome raccoon that was very large and very wiley. He may be back with a whole crew because there is no way he could eat this many chickens. Yes I found the kittens too WooHoo!

    LL Cool Joe
    Still don't know what happened to the typesetting on my post. Crazy, crazy. It did not happen today thank goodness.

    Olga Herbert
    Yes that is what amazes me. What predator can eat so many chickens? Maybe we have a pride of lions around somewhere.

    Well Cliff that might be the funniest yet. Leaving in protest of their names!!! It would certainly explain a lot. I will contact you but I hope you can think how a raccoon would be able to eat so many chickens. Meanwhile read what I wrote to Brighid and see what you think about that.

    Pat MacKenzie
    Yep, found the kittens too. If this is a new predator in the neighborhood, it is a mighty hungry one.

    G.B. Miller
    Oh I know that about Buck and Roy. But they both did sing it, just maybe not together. I'll bet Grandpa Jones always sang it with the little group though. Lol

    Rarely are they ever taken in the chicken house. They free range on the property and the predators can be foxes, coyotes, chicken hawks, owls, eagles, raccoons and weasels. I have never lost this many at one time.

  24. Are there foxes around where you live...something is obviously taking the chickens.

    I do hope the cat and her kittens are all okay; and by the looks of it, she is. She's obviously taken her bubs to somewhere safe. Good on her. That makes me happy to hear that. :)

  25. I read the next post first so I had the good news first - so sorry about the hens. But glad you found the kitties!

  26. "Where...Oh Where, Are you tonight?... Why Did you leave- Me here all alone... I searched the World over n I thought I found True Love- But you met another n PLLTT! You was gone-..."

    That's what I sing when I remember He Haw- Glad you found some of your hiding livestock- Phew!