Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh No You Don't - You Masked Bandit!

Raccoons.  I don't care how cute they are anymore.  I hate them.

They have ripped chickens apart and pulled them through the wire.  They have ripped hardware cloth off of cages and killed all chickens inside. They get into EVERYTHING and leave NOTHING.

Everything, that is, except the big coop.  Although I find footprints and claw marks, they have been unable to rip into, open the door, or destroy the fortress that is our "Big Chicken" coop.

They were working on the banty coop, when I decided it was time for the banties to live with the big chickens .. for their own good.  Just threw them in there one night.  They have been getting along famously since, and I don't have to worry about coons ....  or do I?

Sneaky little bandits decided if they can't kill chickens at night, they'll come out before dark.  I lost two pullets last week, right at dusk as they chickens were going to roost.  As a result, I began going out about 30 minutes earlier and just hanging out until they 'put themselves to bed'.

Last night I started out and heard the commotion.  A chicken screaming, and everyone else alerting and running for cover.  Running up the hill, I lost my shoes somewhere and ran to the coop just in time to see the raccoon with Uno (the Salmon Fav hen) in it's mouth.  Effortlessly hopping over a downed tree, it started to slip into the woods with my hen's head it's mouth.

I reached down and picked up a piece of branch or something, yelled at the coon (calling it quite the foul name) and it stopped and looked at me.  I threw the piece of wood at it - and missed.  Luckily for Uno, the coon let her go and she sprinted back to me and buried herself in my bare feet.

Mr. Bandit and I stared at each other for a moment and he slipped away.  Hungry.  Little Creep.

Tonight I go out an hour early .. with my camos and the .22 .................  wish me luck.

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