A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Monday, June 30, 2008

A close encounter of the stripey kind!

Whew, well, I am just having to get this out before my heartrate comes down too much.

Oldest daughter came downstairs, saying she was hearing the chickens outside. Now, first of all, the eleven year old is supposed to be asleep at 10PM, and second of all, chickens go to sleep at dark and are absolutely quiet all night unless something gets at them. They are not night owls by any stretch. In fact, we teach them where we want them to roost by waiting until dark, then going around the barns, fences and other areas, sneaking up on sleeping chickens, grabbing them and carrying them into the henhouse. Typically it doesn't take more than a couple times of doing this for them to just go to the henhouse on their own before they start their nighttime snoozes.

Anyway, for them to be making noise, clucking and fussing in the dark is a very bad thing. Means something is out there. And given that we have lost nearly 30 birds this spring and summer, it may be that the predator is back! Grrrrr!!!! We have sighted a fox, so figured that the fox was back. Maybe this time we could get it. Of course, being the reformed city slickers that we are, we don't even own a gun. What I would give for one to get that varmint that keeps eating my lovely ladies!!

Well, hubby and I go charging out of the house, armed with flashlights and preparing to grab sticks or rocks and go after that thing. Well, I found the ducks out walking around, with a chicken, out by the trough. Not normal for this time of night. Then proceeded to hear the clucking and generally discomfort coming from the henhouse. I went charging in, thinking that I would find that red bandit in there after my hens, when I probably emitted the most idiotic sound I have ever made, as I backpedaled right out the door again, with a skunk in the beam of my flashlight, trying to find a way to climb up to get at a hen on a roost. It would have been hysterical if it wasn't so frustrating. How the heck do you get a skunk out of there without getting sprayed yourself?? Imagine for yourself Steve and I going back and forth through the door, trying to get the skunk out, convince to go, and not get really stinky in the process. It ended up involving rock throwing, herding the thing, and it finally snuck out while we were searching for a very, very LONG stick to push it around with.

The good news is that the skunk is gone and no one stinks. And none of my hens were eaten tonight, unlike last night when the skunk got one of my favorite banties, Midnight. And we think we may have found the holes that it got in, and got them closed up. But, this is only temporary. It is like the Terminator, "it will be back". So, tomorrow we will have to find some other ways to barricade the rascal out of the henhouse, and then sneak around at night and make sure that all the hens are locked away in the henhouse. Bummer.

It is too bad that there wasn't a video camera on two grown people hesitantly chasing this thing that was actually smaller than our cats (yeah, where were those barn cats and why didn't they scare it off? maybe they are too smart). Lots of squealing, yelling, using the most long distance methods of chasing off the thing. I should be terribly embarrassed. All I could think was that I really didn't want to get sprayed, not really just because it stinks (though I am sure it does), but mostly because I am tired and really just want to go to sleep, and messing with a shower and tomato juice would really not be on my top ten of things to do yet tonight. Isn't that sad?

Well, it is gone now. What an insane thing. Close encounters of the stripey (and smelly) kind.
Goodnight, and let's all pray for sleeping skunks, sleeping chickens, and hopefully a sleeping me soon. Morning comes very early!
May your night smell good!

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