Monday, June 20, 2011

These women killed my chickens

It's their fault, really it is.  They might look like nice little old ladies, but deep down they are fiendish, merciless killers.  It's theirs, and the dozen other women who showed quilts at the park's quilt show last weekend.  Honest.  Cross my heart.  Totally true.

Okay, not really.

It is MY fault that 3/4 of our chickens were slaughtered by raccoons over the course of three days.  The three days of the quilt show--three days where I was working long, hard hours and coming home exhausted at the end of the day.  Too exhausted to notice their dwindling numbers when I gathered eggs and fed them.  Too exhausted to go back outside at dusk to shut them in, thinking them safe in their fenced run area.  Too exhausted to see the ground dug out from one spot under the fence, and to see the trail of feathers heading into the woods beyond it.

We have six hens left.  All of the old favorites are gone, including our broken-toe roo and our one-eyed roo.  My friendly old Delaware is gone.  All the Mr. Hairy's are gone.  My lovely blue-laced red wyandottes are gone.  All over the course of three stupid, stupid days.  All because of stupid, stupid me.  After six years of keeping chickens, you'd think I'd learn something.

The remaining hens are all locked in the coop until we figure the raccoon situation out.  My brother has promised us a 12-gauge.  Maybe we can borrow a large live trap from a farming neighbor.  I've never shot a living animal before, but I don't anticipate having any qualms in this circumstance.


The Apple Pie Gal said...

Oh NO! Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear this! And hopefully no one gets offended by this and if so...sorry!

AIM real good.

The quilts are beautiful in a sad way tho :(

Erin said...

Oh Jo, I'm so sad to hear this! Darn wildlife make it so hard to be able to do ANYTHING, reminds me of having to take the kids' highchairs into the bathroom just so I could take a shower and know they were safe. I hope you nail the culprit, and your little new girls grow quickly!

Judy T said...

Oh, how terrible. I'm still terrified that predators will break into our new coop and get my little girls.
I hope you get your predator soon.

Karen said...

That is soooo very very sad, Jo. Don't blame yourself though...those racoons were determined and the chickens went to feed their families...damn critters... Your new lovely ladies look wonderful though! I hope this doesn't mean you can't "free range" them within their fenced in yard!

Jo said...

Yeah, we haven't seen hide nor hair of the raccoons since, of course. Maybe they moved out of our grove ... But I think they may have munched on some of the new kittens that one of our outdoor cats had a couple of weeks ago. She had them in the woods, and we haven't seen them either...