Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grim news

Or I could say the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.

Not only birds are active in the fall. Raccoons are venturing beyond their usual boundaries; and for the first time in the seven years I've kept chickens here, one came into my yard and tore through the netting and wire over the top of the chicken pen.



It happened at about five in the morning. I woke hearing Miró hurry down the stairs to the main floor.  I heard one faint, distant noise from outside. It could have been a dog or cat; it could have been the person who delivers newspapers to the few of us who still subscribe. It was not at all like the noises chickens make when disturbed at night or when attacked. I listened for a while. Everything quiet. Because Miró, who barks at everything, kept silent, I figured all was well. I don't know if Emily even moved.

Really, Miro has some explaining to do.


 This raccoon tore out the throats of four chickens and disappeared.  A couple of days later I ran into a neighbor from across the street who also kept chickens. She said theirs had been killed two days before mine. Same modus operandi: no noise, throats torn out, dead hens strewn across the pen.

When my husband was alive and we kept chickens in a more rural area, we lost a bunch to predators; but no animal ever killed all the chickens and we (or I, since he could sleep through anything) always heard something, though the distance from house to pen was greater there than here.  It's very unusual to have happened so quickly that the chickens had little or no chance to squawk. Maybe there was more than one raccoon.
Edna, Old English game bantam

Most chickens live short lives and die violently, making R.I.P. inappropriate. High praise for chickens would be: they laid well.


  1. Still sad...sorry.
    We have had a lot of Owl and Raccoon activity. I guess everybody and everything is trying to fatten up before winter.
    Wyatt's Mom

  2. Oh, Sherry, I'm so very sorry. How horrifying! Did you see any footprints in the chicken pen?

  3. Your story is taking our mom right back to the day that she found Speckles the duckie killed by the fisher cat right in her own house. This is not fair and no pet should die this way.! We are so very sorry, Miss Sherry. We know these horrible images of finding your beloved chickens will take a long time to erase. Big Hugs to you ♥

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  4. So sorry you lost chickens because of raccoons, I've heard they can be a menace.

  5. Oh, that's just horrible. We are so sorry!