Monday, June 1, 2009

Chicken Mayhem

It's been a killer of a weekend, and I mean that literally. Saturday morning Hubby slept in, so I went out to check on the chickens. While filling their food and water, I noticed that there was one missing. I counted them several times. I even lifted up their house to make sure they weren't in there hiding. Nope, no chickens. As I was walking up to the house to get Hubby, Duke strolled up with a chicken leg in his mouth. Low and behold it matched the color of the missing chicken. After waking Hubby up, we searched the property (as best we could), for the remaining bits of chicken. No luck.
Sunday morning comes, and Hubby's up early (as usual on a Sunday), to check on, and feed the chickens. He found two dead chickens in the run, lots of feathers, and upon counting, one came up missing, plus one was loose. Duke sprang into action and helped Hubby herd the chicken so Hubby could get it back in the run. He did come back for the camera, and a garbage bag. And as much as I love to share pictures, I will spare you all the gore of the poor chickens.
After church Hubby checked on them again, and all seemed fine, they were chillin' in the shade. We decided to lock them up in their house over night, just to be safe. After dinner (around 8pm) we headed out to see if they were in their house yet. There were chickens everywhere, four had gotten loose; two were on the outside, one was in the garden, and we found one in a small tree about 30 feet away. As we got them back into the run, I counted and we were down two more. Duke found one, because he was eating part of it, and we searched for the other, but couldn't find it. As Hubby put it today, the chicken mayhem left us with four KIA, and two MIA, leaving us with 18 babies (not including the four big ones, and Fred who is still in the cat carrier in the storage building growing his head feathers back).
Today our mission was to find some more chicken wire to cover the holes in the new fencing, and come up with a solution for the pest problem. Upon research we decided that it's an opossum that has been killing and stealing our chickens. Those buggers aren't going to get any more of our chickens.
It's may sound strange, but in some ways I feel totally violated, like we had the house broken into and stuff that we valued stolen. I know it's weird, but that's the only way I can figure out how to explain this dread and frustration I feel. So if any of y'all have good suggestions on how to stop the killers from killing, besides what we've already done, we are open to suggestions. I'll give updates as we get them.


Ron said...

Sorry to hear about the carnage. I vote for the shotgun. :)

I share the feeling of being violated. We let our chickens free-range, so I know it's a risk to lose chickens... but still. When you've got a lot of time, energy and hope invested, it's hard to accept the loss. I'd accept it better if it was due to some wild critter, not a dog.

Speaking of dog... are you certain he's not guilty? I'd be mighty suspicious...

Your garden looks terrific, congrats!