The Chicken Killing
August 5, 2011, 9:25 pm
Filed under: August 2011
Chickens Forever

August 6, 2011

     It was a horrible scene the other night. Masked intruders swarmed over our fences and decimated our chicken flocks. We had one large paddock of fryers almost ready to butcher. The other small laying flock was in the chicken yard near their coop. They were peacefully roosting.
     Our Lucy dog has passed on. The varmints must have telegraphed their kin and told them about her absence. They were very crafty at first. They would sneak in and eat a little cat food that was left in the dish in the barn. Once they tipped over a pail that had contained sweet feed for the horses. The areas around the water hydrants were sloppy and tracked up.
     The first night we were violated, they tore open a couple of paper feed bags containing chicken feed. The next night the cat food container was tipped over. Its lid had been ripped off, spilling the cat food all over the tack room. I set out a box trap and promptly caught a travelling Tom cat.
     The next day nothing was tipped over. The cat dish had a few pieces left in it. Everything was orderly and in its proper place. Then I went to feed the chickens. The bandits had killed 24 fryers. Four of the birds were dead just sprawled on the ground. The carnage was not pleasant to view.
     Feathers were scattered all about. The four dead chickens had a few parts missing, but the rest had vanished. I thought I had scared the rogue animals away with the steel box trap. They were just playing with me. I made plans for the upcoming evenings.
     I was outsmarted. Before I could lay a trap, the bandits struck again. The carried off the entire laying flock of nine hens. My poor Buckeye rooster was missing most of his tail feathers and had a limp from an unknown source. I discovered tracks, feathers and the tell-tale signs that raccoons had wiped us out. This was confirmed the very next night with a baited pan and a spot light.
     Raccoons are omnivorous. They are also crafty bandits who can figure out latches, fences and traps. Lucy kept them at bay, but the party was on for them now. There is a big sow (mother) coon that weighs 35-40 pounds. She is the ring leader. The rest come in droves following her lead.
     I have everything secured. The only chickens on this farm right now are the cement ones in front of the pig barn.. they will last forever. The raccoons are being fed a small diet of tasty treats out in a paddock behind the barn, to keep them from destroying everything in sight. Very soon hunting season will be upon us. Raccoon coats may become fashionable again, if only on my farm!
     We live near a river. My neighbor is having his woodlot cut. The woods resembles a war zone. The animals may be coming from there, but in any case there are way too many. Over crowding is making them brave and susceptible to disease and starvation. They are out of balance.  No natural predators other than a few coyotes and man hunt them. The trouble is, in recent years, pelts are not worth anything as wearing fur from animals has fallen out of favor.
     Many of the folks who detest guys like me who harvest wild animals for their pelts, eat meat and enjoy every bite… make their protests in white leather shoes. The race off in expensive cars with leather seats and degrade me for killing defenseless animals… I don’t think letting them starve to death is a very good option either.
     Mark me down as an outdoorsman who believes that the wild animals should be managed for their own health. They are a great source of protein and can be used to feed the hungry. Many hunters support a program that funnels meat to needy people. I do not support poaching or killing just for sport.
     I guess this topic is a bit controversial. Some people might even get a little perturbed at me for being so out spoken. I will not apologize. My sleeping chickens caused harm to no man. They stayed home and bothered not a soul other than some grasshoppers that ventured too close. I will settle this score as soon as the season opens. I will probably be battling for sweet corn in just a couple of weeks as the masked bandits try to steal all of that too!
     The cement chickens look good and even kind of cute in the flower bed, but cement sweet corn?  Give me a break!

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Willing to contribute,a live watch dog ,and hens and chicks for the flower bed.

Comment by Serena Togger

Why those varmints!!!! I’d say it’s time to replace Lucy – those cement chickens look nice, but they won’t taste too good this winter.

Comment by Aunt June

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