LysmachiaMoon's blog: Much needed rain, predator

Posted on May 27, 2021 6:10 AM

We had good soaking rain all day on Monday, misty damp weather Tuesday, and yesterday (Wednesday) a couple of thundershowers rolled through and we got more rain. It's still pretty warm, yesterday was like a sauna (more like "normal" July than May, but then, what's normal anymore). I have been stuck in the house because I'm swamped with editing projects. The veg looks good except now all the weeds are really taking off and frankly, after hours sitting at the computer, I just don't seem able to work up the enthusiasm to go out in the steamy heat and pull weeds. I think I'll try to take a couple of hours very early in the morning tomorrow and get to work in there.

Tragedy. I opened the hen house yesterday morning to find two of my young Wyandottes murdered. I have no idea what got in there and killed them. R went up to close the doors to the henhouse around 9 p.m. the night before and he said he did not look into the house and did not notice anything odd except that he had trouble getting the trapdoor to slide down. We had a very bright moon that night. I think whatever got in must have just walked in through the open door somewhere between when the hens went in to roost (probly around 8 or 8:30) and when R walked up the hill. He may have scared it off as he approached. The most likely culprit is a weasel, but it did not look like a weasel kill to me. Both birds were partly eaten, but they were both in the henhouse, not dragged off. If it were a fox, they would have been taken away; most weasel kills are like a bloodbath with dead birds everywhere. I suspect maybe a raccoon...I know this is CSI gross but it looked like whatever it was might have been a fairly heavy animal, from the way the bodies were laying. I need to talk to my neighbors and see if they had any attacks.

At any rate, I closed the girls up early yesterday and everybody is safe and sound this morning. There were a series of devastating weasel attacks in our neighborhood several years ago (several neighbors lost their entire flocks in one or two nights!) and at that time I put tight wire mesh over all the openings in the henhouse (under the eaves). It's a new(ish) building so no gaps between boards, around doors, etc. Whatever got in, I think it walked in through the open trap door.

So, of 6 baby chicks purchased, now only 2 survive. I am upset. It's very hard to see this. I guess I'll try to get more chicks next spring; it's a little late in the year to get them now and I've got my hands full with the two "foster" kittens.

Oh, and we all three of us, me and the 2 kittens, got our booster shots on Tuesday!

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