Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our Heroine

She looks so calm, cool and collected here.
And here she is as the naughty puppy she was!

And here she is on the hunt by the big downed tree trunk from last year, still laying in the yard where it fell to a ten foot length.
And so starts the story.
Two weeks ago, I went into the big henhouse to do chores in the evening, and found this little girl in the closet, torn to pieces.  All that was left were her wings, her legs and a bit of torso in between.

She's the Ameracauna pullet in the fortex, eating. She was a nice girl, one of three, that will be my replacement "big egg" layers, along with the Welsummer and Rock pullets.  We figured it was a possum, since the head was gone, but knew she had struggled (feathers)  and were stunned to find her inside.  I had left the popholes open that night because of the intense heat.

Then, Thursday night, I found this little girl under the hutch that the juveniles slept in when they first came out of the workshop.  She was dismembered, only her head and breast meat gone.... and I was particularly upset.  Silver was my only Seabright, and a wild, perky little bird.

She was a beauty.

We think there is one more missing, a blue silkie hen, Bitsy, blue with a black head, my favorite of the silkies.  I found a big pile of feathers on Wednesday afternoon, but everyone is beginning to moult, and though I stopped twice to look at them,  it is hard to count heads when everyone is moving fast.  I realized today I had not seen Bitsy, and will look for her when I go out this evening.

But here is the rest of the story.

Thursday night, after I found the body of the Seabright, I was upset.  I got into it with Keith and we ended up in a huge yelling argument.  It happens sometimes.  We had noticed Lil hanging around the downed tree for several days, and two weeks ago or so she and Ranger had passed a baby oppossum between themselves one day, but we made them drop it and go in.  I remember saying "Where there is one, there are more".  We know something has denned up under the storage buildings, but have not seen it, though Lil is trying to dig to China under them. Anyway....

While I sat and sulked after the argument, I realized it was stupid.  I was already in my nightgown, and got up, got shoes on... put a leash on Lil, who was mildly stunned.... and then took her out with the spotlight.  I went down to the henyard, because there were several juveniles in the tree whom I could not get in. Keith had reported hearing Lilly barking in that direction 15 minutes earlier. 
Taking her in through the pasture gate and on into the henyard (she couldn't believe her luck) I told her to "find the critter".  It took her MAYBE 30 seconds, she popped behind the juveniles pen, and came back out carrying a teenaged-size possum.  She carried it very slowly and stately into the yard, through the two gates, dragging the leash.  I ran in to get Keith.  She must have crunched it, because she came when we called her, but I could see it's beady eyes in the light of the spotlight.  Keith, My Second Hero, went out and dispatched it.  You all know I do NOT like killing things, I spare bugs and spiders, even (NOT WATERBUGS). But this thing had taken two gentle little pullets and I knew it would be back for more.  Never a rooster, NO. 

So she's my heroine. 


  1. Wow, what a story. So sorry about your chickens, I would hate to have that happen, and you're right, the animals we're responsible for need our protection.

  2. So sorry you've lost your chickens. I had a mother and baby raccoon breaking into my building and they killed all but two hens and all but three ducks. I was not happy. I try to live peacefully with the wild animals, but they can't break into my buildings. Glad you have a superdog!

  3. Sorry you lost your chickens but you have a good farm dog there doing the job she is supposed to do. Good dog!!!

  4. They always kill your favorite.

    Good girl Lil!

  5. Oh I feel terrible about the chickens! So glad you had good help in catching the murderer. He would not have stopped coming back until they were all gone.

    Come by my blog when you get a chance and look at the post called 'Making Friends'.

  6. So sorry about your chickens but your guard dog is amazing! Love those goldens!


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