I was talking with a friend at one of the kids’ swim meets and she told me about how her family had kept a few chickens for 3 years and then one night a fisher cat got into the pen and killed all the chickens save for one solitary chicken who happened to be lame. (That’s not really important to this story, I just find it highly ironic, you know, the whole meek shall thing)
It looked like a chicken massacre, she told me. There were bloody chicken carcasses all over the place.
For those of you who have never seen one, this is a fisher cat. They sort of look like tree climbing weasels. They also have a screech that chills you to the bone.
I’ve also been told that I have to be careful about raccoons. Raccoons will eat both the chickens and the eggs. Caroline, the woman from whom we got these chicks had just undergone a raccoon attack and lost a few of her birds to them.
But in talking to these people, not one person has mentioned the predator I fear most for our chickens. It is a cunning predator that usually strikes at night when the house occupants have settled into sleep.
Its cunning, it’s diabolical. It will destroy the chickens and the eggs indiscriminately and there is virtually no way you can protect your flock from one of these, no matter how much money you pour into your hen coop.