For all of you out there who have been saying under their breaths: "She's going to regret this".... you can all now say "I told you so".
This morning, Keith did chores again for me, as I am still under the weather. He did bring me the game cam, and I popped the card into the computer. I was dismayed to see this:
Please look at the time. Yes, it's 7:01 AM, just before it gets really light.
And that's a big coyote.
I called Keith to the computer when he came in, to show him that they are really coming close now, and frequently, and that maybe I should stop feeding immediately.
Trust me, this is only an "enth" of the feathers, they were everywhere.
Keith was working clear across the yard on the henspa, and even though he is deaf from artillery, became aware that the birds were screaming in terror.
He ran in to get his gun... and I stupidly ran out the door and saw a big coyote with a black hen in it's mouth. I yelled at it, and it ran off exactly to the place where there is a passage under the fence, that I showed you last night.
Keith was furious, because he had intended to kill it.
I went out there and found at least six places where birds had been attacked, so we think there were possibly two coyotes. I saw a black bird being carried off, and Keith saw a brown bird.
They got Legs Diamond, our beautiful young rooster. Keith euthanized him.
Of course, barring the door after the cows got out, I have been taking layers over to the henspa, which could accomodate about six more. I moved four bigger hens, and one tiny little Old English gamebird, Susie, because she is one of my favorites.
I'll move two more tonight, once all the drama in there has settled down.
The moral of the story is, all feeding stops today. Keith is throwing Legs over into the wild area tonight... and I'm going to block the access hole with cinderblocks. As Keith says, "They'll only find another way in..." because they are opportunistic, and it's mid-winter. (Jill, my friend the naturalist, and I are both pretty philosophical)
The birds are securely locked at night and repairs to the henyard fence were on the slate, anyway.
I'm actually more worried about the skunk than anything.... as was Jill, too.
In happier news, Keith has been working all weekend on this, and it's looking very good:
Lag bolts holding the railing tightly to the deck:
He will go around and screw the bottoms of all the spacers when he is finished. I appreciate this so much, because sometimes I would get disoriented going across the deck, it was up just high enough to worry me since my eyesight is so bad. I was very worried about Abby walking off it and hurting herself, too. There will be handrails on either side of the steps now with the finish of this project today, and the railings are so strong and tight, we're going to hang a planting box from them.
I'm going to make cookies this afternoon for a meeting Keith has tomorrow, so had best get busy.
It stuns me that even at 62, I'm still learning the hard way!