Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chicken Feathers

We lost a chicken.

No one saw it happen, so at first we weren't sure exactly what got it; we just knew that at 5:00 in the afternoon there were two big piles of feathers and only 12 chickens cowering in the chicken run.

Our German Shepherd tracked whatever-the-culprit-was until it crossed the creek, and we were impressed that he found three more piles of feathers along the way.  He had been with us in the garage while we worked that day, so we didn't blame him for not scaring off the predator, but we were very impressed with his previously undemonstrated skill of tracking on command!

The next afternoon around 3:00, I took a break from our garage work because a chicken was making a strange noise out behind the barn.  I walked out to where they were, and found ten chickens huddled together next to the barn, and the remaining two squawking noisily next to the elderberry tree halfway between the house and the creek.  I couldn't see anything wrong, so I walked past them toward the creek, and when I turned my head there was a big coyote just standing there by the creek looking at me.

Wait, did I say a big coyote?
I was wrong.
It was a REALLY big coyote.

So of course I did what any self-respecting country girl would do.

I shouted for my husband.

And threw a stick at it.

It ran away, and when my husband didn't come (because he couldn't hear me over his music), I shouted some more and threw a few more sticks for good measure.  Shouting at an invisible coyote while throwing sticks at said invisible coyote is extremely therapeutic.

The next morning, after many cups of coffee, my husband was upstairs in our bathroom when the dog started barking his special just-let-me-out-of-this-fence-and-I'll-tear-you-apart bark, and two of our girls (upstairs in their bedroom) starting screaming, "Coyote!  Daddy, there's a coyote!"

By the time my husband got to the window, the dog was trying to climb the fence, and the coyote had almost disappeared back into the tall grass along the creek.  

And it hasn't been back (in the daylight hours) since.


Beloved's Bride said...

Oh My Word! Uhhhh! Coyotes are crazy. I know people say they are scared of us more than we are of them but they are so curious they often look back to see if you are a threat and that gives me hebby-jebbies!

Sorry about your chickens!

Yáll be careful until hubby gets that big bad boy!

Jamie said...

I know! For many weeks, the kids were only allowed outside in pairs, and then if they stayed outside to play I made them take the dog with them. Even then my little .22 never left my side! (I'm not sure I could have hit anything, but at least the noise might do the trick!) :)

On the positive side, the coyote episode sparked some much needed review sessions on our "What do you do if you see a coyote/bear/cougar" drills!

Beloved's Bride said...

No joke on the drills! I don't think "Freaking" out is an option!

I was just told that a coyote was spotted down the trail in the "Special" training area behind our house! They have lifted the ban here and "Post" is going to let them hunt them this season. They apparently are getting a little out of control.