Lesson 1302 – chickens and the zombie apocalypse

We lost another chicken this weekend. Our yard looks like the aftermath of the massacre that it is. In fact, we’ve had to take out our rakes, because there are that many feathers flying across the lawn.

My heart is broken. In the 6 years we’ve had chickens, we have never been hit this hard (we’ve had a few hawk attacks but that was it) and yet in the space of just a few weeks, we’ve been attacked by fishers, coyotes, and fox.

This weekend we tried to be outdoors as much as possible and *still* the coyote came. And then yesterday, *while* Marc was sitting at a porch table, a red fox came into our yard.

It feels like a zombie apocalypse at our house. Honestly, every time I go outside I fear the worst.

Yesterday a neighbor told me that she saw the coyote across the street from her house, it was eating an egg (which means it had been in our yard while we had been outside) and it was limping. Great – a young and foolish coyote pup who is not afraid of humans and who is also injured.

Fantastic.

So why don’t I just shoot these intruders? Easy enough answer, we don’t have the space to do that. We have close neighbors and as someone who is related to Aaron Burr, (and who has never fired a gun in her life) I can assure you that I would not be a sure shot.

Not going to poison as someone had suggested, first of all that’s cruel (not to mention against the law) and second, we have too many free roaming cats in our neighborhood.

How about trapping? Okay, this sounds like a good alternative but then what do you do with the coyote? I could try (and pay) to have it relocated but then I fear I’d just be putting the problem of a young pup who is not afraid of humans and who has tasted chicken onto someone else.

For now we are trying to keep the chickens confined. They are in our 6 foot tall penned in dog area, but as you all know, chickens can fly to the top of a fence like that and then fly down to the other side. We are constantly on the lookout for these suicidal chickens and when we can catch them, they get banished to the coop for the rest of the day.

I have a call into Fish and Game to see if they can help us. Although I am beyond heartbroken about our chickens, it’s really the pets and small children in our neighborhood that I’m most concerned about.

If I were a Magic 8 ball, I’d say that the “future does not look favorable” for this young pup.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

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3 Comments

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

3 responses to “Lesson 1302 – chickens and the zombie apocalypse

  1. 😦 I know the feeling of losing chickens to hunting critters. We had about 20 chickens and 5 ducks in a large pen when I lived in the Northern Territory in a remote indigenous community. The people of the region were mostly of the Dog Dreaming, so nothing was ever done about sick, old, or maimed dogs, and the rest were allowed to breed without controls.
    One day, while I was in Alice Springs, doing some school shopping (I was the Head Teacher), some camp dogs (as they are called) got into the pen. Only one chicken survived the massacre. It is so disheartening and heart breaking to see that – especially when most of the dogs didn’t even eat the birds.😦

  2. Pingback: Lesson 1302 – chickens and the zombie apocalypse | Lessons Learned from the Flock | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  3. Dan

    I do feel your pain. And having a large predator like a coyote is a real conundrum if you don’t shoot.

    Years ago we had a possum family wipe out my daughter’s fair chickens. I caught them in the act and promptly took revenge, even on the little ones (with the bloodied mouths). I recently got chickens again and spent an inordinate amount of time building a small outside run. So far, so good here.

    Hope you figure this out!

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