Sunset in January 09

Sunset in January 09

Weather wise, today was just plain weird.  Snowed with a vengeance on and off.  Hailed for several minutes,  not really big, but boy was it noisy !  By this evening, nice sunset and a lot of confused chickens.  I always have to be very careful about where the ladies are when the weather goes bonkers.   Chickens have a tendency to hide under things.   If the weather does not pass,  and nightfall comes,  the ladies have likely seen their last dawn.   You see,  if you are a chicken,  and it is dark,  that means you become immobile.  You do NOT MOVE.  Period.  Chicken statues.   Because in the world of chickens,  to move at night is to draw a predator near.  So, rather unknowingly,  a sitting chicken becomes a sitting duck so to speak.   Skunks and raccoons do not care if you are a statue.  If you are not in the coop,  if you are on the ground,  you are obviously a hot snack.   We lost a rooster one day when a storm came through when I was in town.  When I got home,  the ladies were in the coop,  but Rudy was nowhere to be found.  I looked everywhere………crawling around on the ground looking under the storage containers we had at the time in the driveway……..everywhere.  I never saw even a feather.  Usually means something large took the bird away.  **sniff sniff**  Rudy was actually Brownest Chicken’s brother,  so that loss we still feel.   The next night,  I heard a horrible squawk and ran outside.  My son was right on my heels, and he heard the front gate click as an animal went over it.  I ran that way with the flashlight, and discovered one of my little hens, dead from a raccoon.   So,  I quickly got the big trap set,  said “sorry and thank you” to my hen, and put her in the trap at the base of the coop.  I had not even gotten back into my bedroom before the chickens were yelling again………ran outside and the largest raccoon I had ever seen was in that trap.  It filled the WHOLE trap.  Ever been close to one ??? OMG OMG THEY ARE NASTY SNARLY THINGS !!!!!!!!!!   It must have weighed 30 pounds, it was huge.  It had actually torn the top of the coop loose and was trying to pick the ladies off their perch !  Obviously it did get one…………poor lady.   I have had a couple of skunk encounters…….I heard chickens yelling one night.  I had forgotten to close the coop door.  I ran outside with the flashlight just in time to see the skunk go IN the coop………OMG OMG again.  I got my livestock guardian dog (my goat dog) and pointed him in the direction of the coop.  He looked at me like “you want me to what ??? That isn’t a goat !”  He would not go……….OMG…..I knew my old chicken Red slept on the floor in there……..but the commotion made the skunk leave and I have never been lax about making sure that I had all the right number of ladies and closed the doors tightly. 

Oh good,  I finally found the right file with some chicken photos in it……..for tomorrow !

Nice night to all !

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