Monday, June 26, 2017

Animal House

If only this meeting had been about what to do when a predator infiltrates the coop.

RIP to a large percentage of the birds in the above photo. To make a gross story tasteful, we had a flock of ten hens Friday and at the time of my writing we have six. There are four less chickens in our yard, and two less bloodthirsty raccoons. Those pesky circle of life lessons sure sneak up on us. This particular lesson involved my innocent, bright-eyed daughter following her Daddy to put the remains in empty feed sacks. Maybe I should tack a GROSS WARNING here?

When the attacks came in the night two nights in a row, this bunch put on their CSI: Farm Life hats and set to work. {By this I definitely mean Googling What ate my chicken? again.}

Not only was the fence dug under {which could have been a number of southern varmints}, some of the fencing was literally pried open. We knew this bandit had fingers. There were crime scenes in both the run and the coop, including half-eaten eggs. We knew this bandit was more than a carnivore. There was also evidence of forceful removal from the coop and one chicken missing altogether. We knew this bandit was trying to make away with our birds.

Thankfully chicken herding is not an uncommon thing in this part of the world, so Jonathan called a neighbor to borrow a live trap and catch the perpetrator in the act. We set it with... wait for it... chicken fat from Sunday dinner, and when Jonathan went to check it in the middle of the night, there was one masked marauder in a tree, one in the trap, and one that barely got away.

Sunshine, Sophia, Chickaletta, and Rover have been avenged, but there's still a criminal lurking in the night. Jonathan plans to reinforce the coop's protective measures with hardware cloth and bricks buried underground, and to lock the girls into the coops every night. Hopefully the third cohort will be trapped tonight, or at least go home and tell his friends this chicken shop's closed.

Does this mean more baby chicks are in our future?
Were the raccoon triplets the only animals in on this scheme?
Did the chickens sacrifice the older, meaner ones on purpose?

Only time and further investigation will tell.
Tune in for the next episode of this chicken murder mystery to see who ends up behind bars.

On a less gruesome note, I have a second animal tale to spin today.

As you might have read last Friday, a kitten has adopted us. When she decided we might be okay people, she took to Owen first, and he fell for her hard. She can't come inside because Jonathan is allergic, but Owen understands.

He didn't exactly say he'd rather Daddy sleep on the porch than Baby Luna, but he didn't shoot down the idea, either.

She purrs happily while my son totes her around the yard. Any time he calls her name, she's there, weaving in and out of his boots hoping for a head scratch. She is also sweet on Nathan and Nora and eager to curl up in their laps. That is, until Owen comes along to tell them they're doing it wrong. Now that we have established contact and she has established a favorite {or maybe it's the other way around}, we are going to ask Owen to put her in a pet carrier for a good once-over by the vet... and maybe a more masculine name.

That's pretty much our weekend, folks. We had an exciting/frustrating time in the world of the furry and the feathered, so hopefully this week takes a turn for the less traumatic.

Here's to a boring Monday!

1 comment:

Jasmine said...

The chickens look interested.