Too close for comfort!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Paganbird, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    I just had a close encounter with a raccoon. Too close, to be exact.
    My husband wanted to take me out to dinner. He had made arrangements for a babysitter and everything!
    So we get ready and drop the kids off with the sitter. Then we go out and afterwards we go shopping without the kids. I notice that it's getting dark. So I say to DH, "We better get the kids & get home... I left the door to the coop open." and DH replies, "I want to go to W*****t and get some motor oil first. The chickens will be fine."
    Well, I argued a little bit more, but he continued to assure me that my ladies would be happily sleeping when I got back and all I'd have to do is shut the coop door. I was enjoying my child-free evening, so I gave in.
    Time flies, it's after 10pm, we've picked up kids & are headed home. I jump out of the truck with my little keyring flashlight to shut the coop door. DH comes too - to check on the horses.
    I get about 20 feet from the coop - shining my little light in and see my EE, Phoenix with her tail splayed, wings puffed out from her body, growling! I call DH as I'm walking toward her. I think she's upset that I'm shining a light on her. I am looking straight at Phoenix, talking to her, trying to calm her down. I step into the coop just as DH walks up behind me.
    DH yells and pulls me out just as I see that there is a coon on the wall beside me!!! He tells me to run to the truck and he starts to follow. I take about 3 steps away - then I turn back around. Oh No! No way am I leaving my ladies in there!! I get the pitchfork and stand in the doorway. DH is flipping out!
    So I hand him the pitchfork and tell him if it comes down to kill it. I then run to the house (500 feet down a pitch black path through the woods) to get the gun and a real flashlight. I grabbed a handful of bullets and the spotlight and ran, full speed, back to the barn.
    DH shoots it. It falls to the ground and dies.
    But that's not the end.
    I check the ladies. I'm missing 3. There are black feathers EVERYWHERE. Oh no. Blackie. One of my BAs. I'm also missing Red & Goldie - RIR & NH red, respectively. I search the area. There are no red or gold feathers anywhere... I am hoping that at least 2 got away & are hiding safely in the woods.
    My spotlight starts to fade. I walk around the pasture one more time and... wait... a hen... Blackie! She's missing a lot of feathers, but no broken skin! I put her back in the coop. My light goes out.
    I guess the last 2 ladies will have to wait 'till morning. I'm hoping they are okay. Like I said, no red feathers anywhere.
    Well, that's my story. I just wanted to write it down to get it "off my chest" before bed. I'll be up early - looking for my 2 survivors.
    [​IMG]
    Goodnight.
     
  2. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    well i hope you the best of luck with the other 2
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    30,363
    235
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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have 5 week old chicks free ranging on my north lawn. This afternoon I hear our leghorn roo make a shrill call, all the chickens in the run head to the coop, my chicks... one sitting on my lap... all freeze and a hawk dives down towards the run and grabs a wild dove that was eating scraps from the outside of the run.... and fly's off.

    Now I'm worried about letting my 5 week olds free range.

    HAWKS in central phoenix. Go fig.
     
  4. chickencoop31320

    chickencoop31320 Have bator, will hatch

    Sep 24, 2008
    Southeast Georgia
    [​IMG] I hope you find the other two.

    I would have done the same thing.
    I'm glad you stood your ground, if you would have walked out... He would have killed as many as he could have before you returned.
     
  5. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    Update:
    After an hour of searching, I only have 1 of 2 missing hens. Red came to my calls, but Goldie is still MIA.
    None of the hens will leave the coop, or the roost, for that matter.
    Dear Red is back in the coop, sitting on her nest (which is torn up and empty.)
    Since I see no sign of a struggle, I'm still hoping for Goldie's safe return.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. wingnuts

    wingnuts In the Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Wow...what an experience. And what a fierce Mother Hen you are kicking butt and protecting your feathered kids. [​IMG] And the world has one less frickin' raccoon. Yay!!!!

    I hope your other hen is found in the light of day.

    Tracy
     
  7. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    4,229
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    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    So sorry for your loss and I hope the other one is just hunkered down somewhere and will finally return.
     
  8. gocrow77

    gocrow77 Crow's Nest

    May 13, 2009
    Central MO
    [​IMG] Hope she shows up whole and unharmed. Best wishes.
     
  9. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

    2,260
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    Feb 1, 2009
    Lexington, KY
    I'm so sorry... it sounds like your girl should return. It can take them a little bit of time if they are shell-shocked, which it sounds like your girls are. Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  10. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    Thanks, everyone, for the kind wishes!
    I have all the hens in, but Goldie. I've been going out all day, calling her, without any luck.
    It has been raining HARD all night and all through the day today. I'm hoping she's in the woods in a hollowed out log or something.
    I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
    Of my ladies, Goldie was definitely the least intelligent... which is pretty unfortunate considering these are chickens we're talking about!
    She was a sweetheart, though. She'd come running when I called & sit on my knee for treats.
    I've kept the ladies in the coop all day, but if the weather is nicer tomorrow, maybe I'll let them out to free-range awhile... see if they can call Goldie home.
    Still hoping!
    [​IMG]


    ETA: I need to remember to proofread before I post... typos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009

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