Ha! We got him! Caught him red handed. Last night, Jerry shot the chicken-killing-bandit. He was up in a tree right over the chicken coop, no doubt selecting his next meal.
Over the past week or so we’ve lost one laying hen, four pullets (young chickens), and one of our meat birds (the humongous rooster ready for butcher!). All killed. Most were simply decapitated.
The hen had escaped her pen through a hole I later found in the chicken wire. I can’t help but wonder if the raccoon made that hole. I didn’t catch her before nightfall, and in the morning she was a mere trail of feathers. Okay, it might have been a fox who dragged her off since her whole body was gone, I don’t really know. But I’m blaming the raccoon nevertheless.
I actually just missed possibly rescuing her. It was about 5:45 am and I was nursing baby Elias when I heard the rooster going crazy outside. Not the regular good morning cock-a-doodle-doo, but his oh-my-goodness!-danger!-danger! cry. I pulled Elias loose, laid him on the bed, and ran outside in my pj’s. But just as soon as I got into the yard Dirty Wilson stopped making his warning sounds, and fresh feathers scattered the lawn. Bummer.
Fortunately for us, it was the oldest hen who was eaten, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t laying anymore. We were considering butchering her anyways… but still. That was meat we could have had.
Then the four pullets were yanked through their cages and either decapitated or utterly demolished. And yesterday morning, I found our nice, plump meat bird dead; missing his head and gutted. What stinks the worst to me is that the entire body (something like 15 pounds!) was completely wasted! All of that meat! At least the varmint could have eaten his victim. Ugh.
So, now you understand why I was so relieved when I heard the shotgun blasts and knew my husband had killed the critter terrorizing our poor animals. Maybe now they’ll be able to sleep in peace.