On time, 21 days after my egg tragedy, I was prepared for a new strategy. Since moving the hen and eggs a day before their due date didn’t work, and leaving them alone last year only gave me a small survival rate, I was ready with a new idea.

The plan is to let the hen remain where she is, on her nest box, happily setting on ten eggs. As they hatch, I’m going to kidnap… chicknap… each one and bring it to the house. The hen will continue to lay on the remainder of the eggs. Once they are all hatched, I will see if she wants to take them back, but let them and her live temporarily in my woodshed. If she doesn’t want them, no big deal, I will treat them as if they’ve arrived in the mail, motherless. I will keep them separate, which will create problems as they are older… but, hopefully, keep them safer from cats, dogs, and the bald eagle that loves to sit in a nearby cottonwood.

So… I was very excited to see this, this afternoon.

See that egg? The chick is beginning to pip! Yay! Now the whole process can take an hour or twelve… so I didn’t touch it, but returned to the house. Two hours later, I returned, unfortunately to a partially hatched chick, now dead.

What happened?

Who knows?

Shit happens. Calves die, pups die, lambs die. It sucks.

There’s still nine eggs under my broody hen, but I’ve just hiked out there in the moonlight and nothing seems to be happening. We will see if I wake to any chicks in the morning… keeping my fingers crossed.


Vernon took this photo of some willothewisp clouds… I think he did a great job.

#TBT: Oh, Else

Butcher’s Foothills Elsa

If you haven’t been here long, you probably never got to meet Elsa. I’m really sorry for you. She was sweetness and grace, loving and quiet (most of the time). It’s been six years today that I lost her.

The post I wrote about her passing is one of my favorites because it tells of her initiation into Greet Ranch… which was a horrible mistake on my part. But it is telling of the forgiving nature of these wonderful dogs, no matter how stupid their people act!

She became a good cowdog, and continued to teach me throughout our relationship. Please, please, take the time to read the final post about Elsa…

Wordless Wednesday – “Red Dirt Dog”

previewRed Dirt Dog

The Newest

One thing about sitting at a table at a trade show all day… I got to finish up and create my newest batch of spoons.