I went to the Gulf Coast fishing for a few days this week. And since I wasn’t taking the boat, the Hubby wasn’t too interesting in going with me. That’s fine, he was happy to stay home and be in charge of the homestead. He watered my plants, vacuumed up ants, hung up his pants…. (I a poet & don’t know it~ ha)
I called to check in after a long action-packed day of wade fishing only to get a disastrous report. Two chickens down!
Bindy, a beautiful (yet noisy and spastic) black and white Ancona was found just outside the coop door, no head, no feathers, picked clean to the bone. He was devastated. She was sleek and fast, always on the lookout for trouble and the first one to run away at the slightest indication of drama…. what happened?
Zelda, our biggest, friendliest, best egg producing, funniest to watch trotting away, always there by the people, sweet talking, best behaved, Silver Spangled Wyandotte, was missing without a trace. No feather trail, or other indication of violence. This alone was a very familiar scenario.
A chicken’s biggest enemy…. Mamma Fox.
When he told me this on the phone I could hear the pain and disappointment in his voice. We had built Fort Knox for these chickens, but even Fort Knox is only a Fort when the door is locked up tight with the gold (chickens) in it. Unfortunately, we turn them out in the morning to roam the pasture during the day to dine on bugs and whatnot (don’t ask me why it’s a foot-race to the nearest horse apple pile first thing in the morning, you won’t like the answer).
Anyway, no calamities had occurred since these birdies had reached laying age. Sure, in the beginning we bought 14 chicks. Sure, the hatchery supplied a dozen more tiny, totally useless rooster babies to keep the (desirable) pullet chicks warm in the box during shipment. Sure, we only had nine survivors out of all that swarm of poultry (not all of it predator related). But hey, they have been grown up and laying for two summers without a single mishap! Why the drama all of a sudden (and when I am out of town?)? Somehow I saw some blame coming my way. But I was ready with my response. No chickens had been lost on MY watch! But that accusation never came. I’m glad.
After the “incident”, the nine-I-mean-seven surviving chickens were kept locked up in Fort Knox during the day while I was gone. He let them out in the evening when he got home from work for a few hours of playtime until sunset and they wandered back into the coop to go to roost. No indication of trouble, no predator sightings, nothing to make him think Satan’s Minion was lurking anywhere around in the shadows. Everything was golden mist and lucky butterfly rainbows.
I got home from the Coast late in the afternoon. Hubby wasn’t home yet, the nine-I-mean-seven chickens were locked up. They saw me and started clucking to go out. I resisted their pleas for freedom and went in the house for a nap. He got home about an hour later and let them out. He cannot resist their charms!
It’s a good thing he hung out at the man cave and kept an eye on things because the red furry devil was on the prowl.
I gotta hand it to him, he’s a great protector of the flock when he’s around to protect the flock.
I don’t foresee trouble with that Momma Fox anymore.© Copyright 2011 Leegay, All rights Reserved. Written For: Truth In Decorating