"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Pigeons...take two.

I am sorry to say the first try at meat pigeons was not a success.
The birds I obtained for breeder stock had spent their entire lives caged up to this point. Consequently they were very weak fliers and this made them easy prey for both the local hawks and unfortunately our Maremma, Alessa. Now the hawks were a known factor and I expect to lose the occasional bird to them. That is the nature of both hawks and pigeons. I had unwittingly aggravated the situation however by slaughtering a beast the week of their release from captivity and this brought the raptors from far and wide as always. Of course when they had finished cleaning up the remains of slaughter they turned their attentions to whatever else there was to eat in the area. Bad timing on my part.
I had not expected our Maremma, our flock dog who is supposed to guard the livestock, to view the pigeons as a tasty snack. I was somewhat disappointed to say the least. Some retraining was involved and I hope she has learned her lesson. I will have to watch her closely to see if it has worked.
In any case our original stock of twelve birds was whittled down to five in the couple of weeks after release. So I went and picked up another twenty birds, instant flock, and have re-incarcerated all pigeons for another fortnight. So far so good. This time they will be released in a raptor free environment and with the Maremma on a short leash until they have settled in.

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