Friday, October 23, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust

Okay, really, this was the first one to bite the dust and it happened a couple of weeks ago. 

It was a rainy, dreary day and we were going out to dinner for our anniversary. We left around 6 to head over to the lakeshore, all the dogs were tucked in and the chickens were still running around the yard...they head into the coop for the night a little before dusk. 

When we got home, I ran inside while Kelly went out to shut the coop up for the night. He came back in to tell me that there were only a few chickens in the coop - two were on top of their outdoor cage and the rest were huddled by the garage, shivering in the rain. He went back outside and put them, one by one, back into the coop. When he came back inside, he told me that we only had 14 in the coop, but he couldn't tell what kind was missing. 

In the morning, I went outside with one of the dogs, but didn't see anything strange. Pretty soon, I looked over at Crue and he was sniffing over by the woods. I went over and followed him and, sure enough, he found the poor little hen's remains. A pile of feathers, two feet and an egg. 

It was pretty stinking sad, not only that we lost one but the fact that it was one of the black chickens. See, they are the most friendly and will let you pick them up. Whenever one of us gets home during the day, they are the first to come running over and greet you and will follow you all over the yard, so it was extra sad that it was one of them. 

After knowing what we were looking for, I was able to follow the feather trail back to the coop door. It looked like something had come up and grabbed one as they were making their way back into the coop for the night, so the rest of them scattered fast. 

Since then, we haven't lost another. We've been very diligent about taking all four dogs out around the coop every day to have their scent everywhere and scare the animal away, we've also been trying be outside at dusk to close the coop right after the hens all go back in.  

We'll see how it goes as the weather gets colder and it gets closer to winter. 

Have you lost any of your feathered friends? What happened? What kind of animal was it? How did you fix the problem? 

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