In the last 10 days or so, we’ve lost the duck and most of our chickens. We have 3 left. At first we thought maybe it was ravens, because we see them stealing eggs from the coop when the door is open during the day, so we started leaving it closed and opening the chicken run, so the girls can still get in through their little door. Then I found the duck. I thought it was a raven at first, until I saw the rounded bill. Her insides were gone. Then we lost 3 chickens, then 5, then one or two. The poor girls are scared to go in the coop at night and try roosting on the porch sometimes. After blocking the little entrance to their coop with a wooden box and finding that moved aside the next morning, we screwed a piece of wood to the outside. Since they only go missing at night, we’re opening the big door again during the day. We’re outside for much of the day and Kai likes to chase ravens, so we haven’t seen too many of them recently. The other night, Darryl couldn’t find one of the 3 survivors. She was on the porch because Kai barked in the middle of the night and Darryl sprang out of bed and saw the chicken and a bunch of feathers and something running into the trees. Now we think it’s a racoon, which makes a lot more sense. The chicken was okay. We lock them in the coop at night, even though we have to hunt down at least one of them trying to roost elsewhere.
So that is our sad story of chicken carnage. Hopefully we can hang on to these girls until we get another flock going or we’ll have to buy eggs! It’s been like 4 years since I had to do that.
We’re planning to raise more broilers this year, so we’ll add a few layers into the first batch, who should be ready to lay in the fall. We really like having ducks so we might pick up 2 or 3 and try again (third time’s the charm?).
Off to let the girls out of their confinement for the day…