Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Great Chicken Massacre



Last night was the Great Chicken Massacre. I was awakened (at 3 am to be exact) by the worried clucks which quickly became chicken screams accompanied by a huge flapping of wings, as though something was attacking them. I donned my robe, and ran out barefoot, hoping it was my neighbor's flock. But no, as soon as I ran over the wet grass and dirt to the back-forty, I saw at once that it was my chickens. In my haste I had foolishly run out sans flashlight, and so I stood there squinting, peering into the dark chicken coop. I could dimly see a dark motionless lump sprawled inside on the ground, and the others were crowded into the corner near the door. Something scrabbled near the top and I thought the marauders were on the roof. Then to my horror, I saw a shadowy figure leap down, inside the run, and pace around looking for an escape. A raccoon had torn it's way through the wire into my chicken coop. The chickens immediately began their awful shrieking as though dying, and I realized I had no weapon with which to defend myself once I opened the door. Oh well I thought, I couldn't wait any longer. I opened the door and picked up two of the hysterical hens, and, leaving the door open, I went to the garage where I went past an extremely interested Tobin (our big St. Bernard/Australian Shepard mix) into a separate, smaller side where my Harley is housed. Gently putting down the shell-shocked hens, I went back out to retrieve the rest. I discovered that one of them is lame. After all were safely in the garage, then I went up into the house to get my flashlight. (A bit late there Terry!) The light revealed one hapless chicken, badly mangled and quite dead. After disposing of the carcass, I went inside. Being absolutely wide awake, with sleep out of the question, I washed the mud and wet grass off my feet, made a fresh pot of coffee and settled down with Dean Koontz's "Frankenstein" - a fitting novel for my mood. What a night. I'll have to repair the fence today after work - oh joy. Poor chickens - I can't help but feel terrible - they trusted me to shelter them safely, and I failed. Boo hoo.

7 comments:

Autumn Storm said...

Oh dear! Hope you are feeling less 'Frankenstein-ish' - good luck with the repairs :-)

Kathi said...

Sorry for your chicken debacle. But,wow!you have a Harley?? Cool!!!

tsduff said...

Autumn, the book was just what I needed to take my mind off my poor hens. I never knew I was so good with the wire cutters - LOL. No raccoon could break through the tons of wire I twisted in yesterday. Thanks for the good thoughts :-)

Kathi, my Harley is the way I escape the fetters of urban life - I just jump on her and hear the roar, feel the wind... just me and the bike. Heaven.

sister celtic said...

SNIFFLE SNIFFLE, BRINGS UP MEMORIES OF MY ROOSTER EDGAR MARTINEZ..WE THINK HE ATE SOME WATER COOLENT OF ONE OF THE BOYS FRIENDS CARS AFTER IT WAS DRAINED.. WHAM BAM DEAD AS A ROOSTER CAN GET. SNIFFLE I'M SO SAD AND SORRY.. GLAD YOU HAVE THE VICTORY WITH REPAIRS..

Sherri said...

We had a rooster we called 'Evil' for about 7 years. He was really a pet to us. One day he just disappeared. My husband had told me on several occasions he wanted to have 'Evil' mounted when he died.

tsduff said...

Sherri - Why do the roosters seem to be the most memorable? Maybe a neighbor took Evil for a walk on the freeway... some folks don't care for the early morning crowing routine. I once had a small white Cochin rooster- very tiny in stature (aptly named Stubby) who was a rooster through and through. I didn't find out until much later that my kids had to take a big stick with them if they went to play out back. If Stubby saw you, he would make a beeline from whereever he was across the entire yard just to attack you! I just made me laugh, because I would pick him up and heave him into the air like a basketball, watching him flutter back to earth with his ego busted up...

Sherri said...

LOL!! Nope, my nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile down the road. We think a coyote got him. He was our 'watch chicken'. He would keep a close eye on anyone who came to the house. (At that time we had just started building our house, so we had lots of people doing various things.) The electrician swore that Evil stood in the door way and watched his every move until we got there.