Under other circumstances, I’d have been over to shut up the chickens in their pen in the later afternoon, and back again to shut the doors to their house not much later.
But yesterday, it just was not worth the effort to ride herd on the pup over to the barn and back, carrying her wiggly self down across the creek, in the terrible winds and occasional flurries. I waited for her to nap. She refused.
Then the weather turned for the worse, with blowing snow as it got dark and Ann would soon need road-coaching to decide about routes impacted by snow and accidents. So I hung pretty close to the phone until she finally got here about 8:00.
Finally, when she had settled in and could watch the dog, I went over in the snow with the flashlight to take care of the chickens. But the coyotes already had.
I suppose the fact that there has been no fresh dog scent for the past few weeks since Tsuga died might have encouraged the pack of them to come this close to the house. They hardly ever do. Last night they did. And they only left feathers. Thankfully, I’d not made friends with these three hens like I had with the batch that were torn apart by dogs fall before last.
So more death comes to Goose Creek. And life, literally, underfoot, even this moment, nips at my heels to get up and get on with another new day. Ann doesn’t have to venture out in this mess, thankfully, so we’ll get out and see what Gandy thinks of her first-ever snowfall.
4 thoughts on “Chicken Dinner:Then There Were None. Again.”
Oh, my gosh! How awful to lose your chickens like that. I lost one of mine to a fox in the spring, but I still have enough to keep me in eggs until this next spring comes around. I’ve grown very attached to “my girls,” and worry about them every time there’s another bad storm or if that raccoon will get another one. How do the predators know exactly when to strike? One moment is all they need. Sometimes I think they must spend the whole day waiting for a chance to get at them.
I’m sorry to hear about your chickens. (A friend who actually lives in town had a coyote jump her fence and take one from her back yard, so I’m amazed yours lasted so long.)
I am ridiculously excited to hear the report of Gandy’s first snow, though.
Sorry to hear you lost another flock. This spring will bring more little chicks and maybe Gandy can help take care of them. I know having a dog or two around will deter most predators. For years, we had an Akita, Malamute and a Husky with no predator issues. After the last big dog passed, we started losing birds at night, like clockwork. Finally, we have another dog, smaller…Schipperke, and she seems to be keeping them at bay (knock on wood). The funniest thing is when she chases away the hawks! She goes crazy when she sees those big birds get anywhere close to her chickens.
Fred, I am so very sorry about your chickens! I imagine that coyotes, foxes, raccoons, feral cats etc. are pretty darn hungry this time of year. And yes, I suspect strongly that Tsuga’s absence was largely to blame.
Coyotes provide a real service out there, helping to control the rodents and smaller mammals (like skunks and opossums) that prey on song birds and cleaning up carrion. America’s native “song dogs” are incredibly intelligent and avoid humans, whenever possible. But when they take our small pets and livestock, it’s just so hard! Projectcoyote.org has great guidance about protecting animals, but it sounds like you were doing everything right and just had a bad night. Awful!!!