Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lurking Predator

Chickens are serious about their sleep and hilariously checked out after nightfall. A big part of having chickens is making sure they are protected, thus why we have an electric net fence and a mobile coop. The chickens are amazingly efficient at loading up in their cozy coop as the sunlight starts to wane. Thus far, we've been successful at keeping all 20 of our chickens alive. With only five months under our belt, winter not too far away, and the adventure of living in a rural setting, we have to be willing to observe, learn, and change up our routines as needed. 

Returning from our walk this morning, my miniature schnauzer picked up the pace and her nose wnet into overdrive as we approached our front porch. Chipmunks are abundant here, so I started scanning for a glimpse of Alvin, Dale or Theodore. To my surprise and confusion, a much bigger animal emerged with a flurry from under our porch. My first thought was our neighbor's cat, but then quickly realized my error.  
Ranger Rick has decided to make sleepy observations from the crotch of our beloved maple tree today. Unfortunately for our fly-out-of the-net-fence, free ranging chickens, the debris and perennials around the base of this tree make it a favorite spot for scratching and finding chicken snacks. According to Wikipedia, "Contrary to popular belief, raccoons eat active or large prey, such as birds and mammal, only occasionally, since they prefer prey that is easier to catch, specifically fish, amphibians, and bird eggs." I'm going to put my faith in that statement, trust in the wild, survivor quality of our chickens, hope the roosters look up, see how things play out today, and order that pressure washer I've been intending to buy for a while.