Survived the trip home

The boys were amazingly good.

Havoc listened to Men at Arms & Feet of Clay with us and Mayhem mostly played DS games, while the DS was charged.

I bought a DSi car charger. Who knew they have different shaped plugs? Obviously not me.

We came home to some sadness though.

We lost 3 chickens sometime between late Friday afternoon when our house sitter headed back to college & when we got home Sunday evening.

Only one chicken, Random, was in the yard when we pulled in.

The people who stopped by Saturday to feed the cats & dog didn’t see the chickens though their son claims he saw all 4 in the coop. But he isn’t tall enough to actually see in the coop so it’s hard to say if some or all of them were in there Saturday evening

We found a bunch of white feathers scattered around the back of the house & assumed the other white chicken had become a meal but thought the two black ones had maybe just found someplace else to roost that evening.

However, when Havoc went out to check on Random this morning she was missing as well. He found her at the bottom of the hill & came up to tell us she was dead & her head had apparently been bitten off & there was blood everywhere.

DH went down to dispose of the body & discovered that actually Random was alive but injured. She’d lost an eye & her comb was torn. Whatever had attacked her had apparently been interrupted, probably when the boys let the dog out shortly before Drake went to check on Random. We’ve treated her injuries but there isn’t much to do, just anti bac stuff like Neosporin and hope infection doesn’t set in.

We assume whatever went after her got the other three. Possibly a fox but there have been rumors of a coyote being seen a few miles away & there was a large pile of dung inside the chicken fence. I don’t know what fox dung looks like but my first thought when I saw it was ‘dog’, so maybe a coyote.

Probably the lack of constant human activity in the yard for 8 days gave something in the wild confidence to attack.  Our house sitter mostly stayed in the house or was over with his family. Normally the boys & I are in and out all over the yard for most of the day.

Obviously we need to shut the coop up at night now. We’d gotten spoiled with the chickens free ranging themselves & hadn’t really thought about predators & the weather & things.

I feel terrible we didn’t do a better job with them.

We’ve been planning on getting some more chickens this month & we’re still going to but we’re moving the coop closer too the house & going back to the smaller pen we had originally, at least for the winter. DH has a timer thing that is supposed to open & shut the coop door but it has some issues so we didn’t use it while we were gone. He’s going to get that fixed before we take another vacation.

*sigh*

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2 comments to Survived the trip home

  • Sorry to hear about your loss. People lose lots of chickens and ducks around here – often to bobcats. I hope you do get some new ones. It seems like a nice part of your life out there.
    Rinda

  • Oh hon, I am so sorry for your loss. They always seem like family members. I hope that all works out well with the new ones.
    Perhaps when you take your next vacation, you can include outside activity, and cooping the chickens at night. . .