Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rocky said, "Doc It's Only a Scratch"

There was this one time when I took a few weeks off from my blog, then I came back full of stories to tell and adventures to wow you guys with and wit and humor that had y'all rolling with laughter. Oh, wait. That didn't happen. BUT!! Nevertheless, I'm back.

I'm not sure if my little hiatus actually accomplished anything in the way of new-found inspiration, but my mornings sure became a lot more productive. Things are still rolling along up here; chickens are scratching, ducks are splashing, rabbits are nibbling. Although, FEWER chickens are scratching these days than previously. We had a problem with a marauding raccoon and lost three chickens (sadly, two of them you know: Angry Chicken and one of the Phyllis Diller twins) last week. But, that problem has been resolved...with bullets. And I can safely say we are raccoon free, until the next one shows up.

All mourning and loss aside, it was actually pretty funny. I was here, in my accustomed place in front of the computer, drinking coffee, early, early one morning, when I heard awful, awful noises from the chicken pen (thankfully all the windows were open, or I would've been ignorant until I went outside and saw the carnage). Still bleary-eyed and half-comatose with sleep, it took a few seconds for the noise to register. My ears spoke to my brain, my brain lagged in response. Brain then spoke to muscles and I was up, fumbling with bathrobe and flip-flops. I know. Flip-flops. Not exactly ideal footwear for a pre-dawn expedition, but again, I was half asleep. Also, I was not wearing pants. Also, my bathrobe lost it's tie/rope thingy and does not close. I'm sure the raccoon was laughing at me as I stumbled out in the dark, flip-flops flapping and bathrobe blowing in the wind. It's times like these that make me more thankful than ever that I have no neighbors within viewing distance.

I should also mention at this point that I neglected to pick up the gun. The gun that sits right beside t he front door. The gun that we decided to leave beside the front door in case of chicken emergency. It also happens that I grabbed the weakest flashlight ever created. So, when I finally made it out there, I could barely see anything. A few chickens were running around on the ground, which is very odd in the predawn darkness. Then I saw it. The raccoon. Dammit. So I run (flipping and flopping) back into the house to grab the gun, but I felt I needed to tell B. Who was in the shower.

"there's a raccoon in the chicken pen!!"

"Well, go shoot it!!"

Right. Good call. Although, had he jumped out of the shower, wet and soapy and grabbed the gun himself, it would've added a whole new dimension of humor to this story. Alas, he didn't.

Needless to say, by the time I returned, the thing was gone.

The next morning, early, we were roused by the barking of my dog. We both flew out of bed, donned shoes (and pants), grabbed gun and spotlight, and made our way out into the dark. Definitely more well equipped this time. When we got the area where we keep the Polish chickens, I did a quick headcount and noticed that two were missing. The Phyllis Diller twins. No more than five seconds later, in a spot that was empty before, one of them miraculously appeared, stuck between the fence and the netting. B swears he saw her fall from the tree. We assumed her dead due to the strange angle of her body and the fact that she just seemingly fell from a branch thirty feet in the air. But, it clued us in on where to point the spotlight. And the gun.

Afterwards, we went back inside to put away the rifle and the spotlight, as the sun was starting to come up. I made some coffee and got ready to go back out and clean up the mess. When I went back out, lo and behold, Phyllis Diller from the fence was walking around the chicken pen, looking no worse for wear. She has been redubbed Lazarus.

We fired a few more shots than were probably necessary. We woke every dog within earshot and probably their owners, but we shouldn't have anymore raccoon trouble...at least for a little while.

And, quickly, in other news, Fiona the duck has started laying eggs!!

Have any of you guys had predator trouble this year? Do you prefer traps or more...final solutions?


  1. Welcome back!
    Blog Stalker

  2. Glad you're back. I have a skunk that is trying to figure a way in to my chicken pen. My pen is an old dog kennel with chicken wire 1 foot up the side from the ground, and 1 foot under the pavers on the ground inside.

    Usually when my dog has to go out at 1-2 a.m., I can see the dang thing running back and forth in front of the pen ... if I was to take permanent action, the whole pen would stink!!! and I would probably hit a chicken. I also can't see very well in the dark, even with my glasses, so I don't know what kind of mess I would make.

    Hope you don't have too many more coming in for the raid!!

  3. Welcome back chick-a-dee!
    It's too bad 'coons are so mean and destructive because they are so darn cute! I live in a sidewalk jungle (but I still have my chickens!) so the only nuisance pests are squirrels, and mice. Rat bait. Works wonders! Now I can pick lettuce that doesn't have rodent teeth marks and my hens don't cluck-intruder! Not as exciting as you, but a pain, non the less!
    :) Amber

  4. Glad to see you back,K! I have been checking your blog to see if you were back to posting.
    We set up a "Have A Heart" trap( there are alot of cats,including ours) by our turkey pen.Up until last week,we have only caught our cat twice and a neighbors cat once :) While we were gone on vacation,Rick's brother found a skunk in the trap,so he threw a towel over the trap, transported it to another part of town, and (ahem) did a way with it. Something else has tried to burrow into the pen,though,so our trap is back up and ready for action.

  5. Thanks, y'all! I'm soooo glad ours is a raccoon and not a skunk! Chicken slaughter plus skunk smell just seems like adding insult to injury!Plus, like amber said, coons are way cute.

    I kept up with everyone's blogs while I was chilling and it looks like you guys have been up to some righteously fun stuff. I'm jealous!