Monday, February 4, 2013

A Thief in the NIght ...and Day

Last night while I was taking Nathan to his mom in Lawrence, Keith got home and closed the popholes for me.  It was after dark, and he assumed everyone had gone in.  


And from the outside....

As near as I can figure, it was one of the older red hens.  I thought it was Mary, the white hen left in the old henhouse... but she is safe today, and the feathers had red on the ends. 

An older red hen greeted me at the gate when I went in to open the pophole this morning, so it only took one. 

You can see the paw prints in the dirt where it dug.  We had buried the wire six inches deeply, but that was ten years ago, though you notice we had strengthened that part of the fence earlier. 

When I left to go to the doctor this afternoon, I left the Intrepid Lil out to watch the place.  When I say watch... she is laying there calmly while a squirrel is eating in her bird feeder.  You can just barely see him next to the pole, the darker brown. 

I got back, and proceeded to do chores in both henhouses.  I had put a cement block in the hole dug last night, and we still have to hang the new gate.  About 4 PM, Lilly wandered over by the fence, looking down into the pasture to the brush pile and wild area.  I noticed she was getting agitated, and I kept an eye on Abby, who was with me.  

It was a lucky thing I did, because all of the sudden, Lil began barking and jumping up and down at the fence, and, turning at the deck where I had just walked, I saw a coyote who had come clear up to the fence and now was frightened by Lil's bark and was on it's way back down pasture.  It was the same we had seen before... big, with a darker ruff.  I yelled and it sped up and ran through the hole in the fence at the bottom of the pasture that I've shown you. 

Lil was ready to follow it, but I fear her going through the fence. 

I took her in the henyard, where she coursed around...

and got her nose full of coyote scent....

And now she's out on the deck, where she can keep an eye on the pasture...

I have to be gone about 4 hours tomorrow afternoon... and I'm leaving her out in the yard to keep an eye on things.  

I trust her. 

On a sad note, this is my little sister's Kathleen's 61st birthday... or would have been. 

Here she is in her disco days; she really loved to dance and loved disco music.  I think she wore out the album "Saturday Night Fever" way back when.  I love this picture because it shows her lovely smile...and boy, how I miss it. 

Happy Birthday, Little Sis! 


  1. Your sister does have a beautiful smile! I'm sure you really miss her!

  2. You're going to HAVE to get rid of some coyotes or give up keeping chickens. Sorry about the loss of your sister, whenever it was. The pain gradually lessens, but you never quit missing thm.

  3. What a beautiful smile on your sister! And I agree w/George, you have got to git rid of those coyotes!

  4. Oh Mary, not again, feel bad.......Won`t the coyote hurt Lil, hope not.......I can imagine how heart breaking you feel to lose a beautiful Sister, that smile is so wonderful......Blessings Francine.

  5. I know what my sisters mean to me and how I would miss them.

    I feel frustrated for you about losing another hen. I am glad Lily didn't go chasing after the coyote. Please be careful.

  6. Your sister's smile is indeed, beautiful. Wow, what a brave or very desperate coyote. So many critters find chickens to be an easy meal! I've lost them to raccoons and a bobcat!

  7. This is Keith ... here in Kansas we both "keep" and "bear" arms. So if I have to I have no problem taking out the predators. But we really don't want to. Hoping to scare them off so they will look elsewhere for their prey. Lilly does a great job of keeping watch and going on point if anything is amiss. Kathleen was a lovely lady and was a true hero in dealing with her cancer.

  8. MA, the intrepid Lil will hold the coyote at bay. It's looking for an easy meal and won't want to tangle with Lilly. It will go elsewhere. I disagree whole heartedly with the need to dispatch lethally. As this article states, this keystone species will take care of more noxious species and it's presence is an example of a healthy environment. It will leave when there is nothing more for it to eat or when prey is not easy. Killing it before this happens only leaves room for another coyote to move in.

    I do realize however all of this is mute when it's your chickens the coyote is after.


  9. A friend of mine who has chickens in Fla. also has problems with wild dogs and cats and whatever else they have down there. For the diggers --- instead of burying the wire down - they took the half inch mesh and bent it into an "L" shape and attached with wire, the top foot of it along the bottom of the fenceing and buried two feet (the bottom of the "L") a couple of inches under the ground on the outside of the fence. Going out.
    they have the top covered due to the wild cats that get in after their smaller chicks.

  10. You are really having a rough time of it with the predators there this winter. Sorry you lost another. Your sister did have a lovely smile and you have some wonderful memories of her too. Hope all goes well for you today and you have a terrific Tuesday!

  11. I hope Lil does a good job! I bet she will be keeping a watchful eye. We had bury our chicken fence too, but our biggest worry here is raccoon's and foxes... lots of coyotes but I haven't had trouble with them and the birds (knock on wood.) I think dogs are your best bet to keep the coyotes at bay, if they get an inch they will indeed take a mile the buggers.

    Big hugs, your sister is beautiful... that picture does say a lot about her personality. :)

  12. What an eventful life you live! Yikes! I'd be worried about the coyote hurting Lil. Hope things get quieter at your house. Your sister was so pretty. I'm sorry for your loss. laurie

  13. Your sister did have a lovely smile!
    Sorry about losing the chicken. Dang coyotes! Grrrr...

  14. Sounds like ya'll need some beagle wire. It's a heavy duty wire with a one foot apron. Keeps things from digging in or out.

    Or you could do what we did and lay a heavy duty chicken wire on the ground and wire it to the fencing.


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