Tuesday, October 25, 2011

farm 7, predators lots

I will have to do a recount tonight just to figure out how many chickens we have lost to predators this year, it is going to be over 24.  They are decimating my birds.  Annmarie woke me up in the middle of the night again to the sound of chickens squawking.  I did not want to get out of bed.  The bed was warm and it was still dark.  After some "discussion" and a final blood curdling squawk from one of the chickens I leaped to action (after I found my glasses).  Due to paranoia reasons I no longer take the 22 out at night, so I grabbed the shotgun and a truly crappy $0.99 flashlight (my good ones keep disappearing, must be the flashlight gremlins, they are trading with the sock gremlins).  I hold the flashlight in my left hand on the pump mechanism.  I pumped a round in the chamber and hustled over to the chain link gate shining a crappy weak light into the coop yard.  A black blur ran toward the back of the coop and I ran after it.  The sheep were on the backside of the coop yard earlier in the night but luckily they had moved so I didn't have to run through them.  I heard some scrambling so I knew some thing was crawling up the 4x4 post.  I shined the light and there was a big raccoon sitting on top of the fence.  I was on the outer corner, but when I aimed the shotgun the barrel was pointing toward the old house and our house.  I had to move four feet to the left, but now I had to raise the shotgun up high to get over the chicken fence I had just stepped behind to change angles.  I shot, damn flashlight fell on the ground, I heard  the culprit jump down (didn't sound like a belly flop) so I stepped right and blindly shot at the ground in the approximate area.  There is a reason I don't let the dogs come out with me at night.  I found the flashlight (still on) and picked it up off the ground.  NO dead raccoon.  I shined it up to the spot it was sitting on the fence and there is a 1 inch x 4 inch wide chunk of wood missing from the 2x4 the raccoon was sitting on.  Unfortunately, it is eight inches to the right of where it should have been.  I missed.  I met Annmarie on the way back to the house.  We had a discussion about how she only hears the chickens when I am home.  I will run out and throw the dead stupid chicken (not supposed to roost in the yard) into a live trap today and tonight I will set it up and see if the raccoon comes back.