Before I went to sleep last night, I was feeling badly for the chickens. In my mad rush yesterday, I forgot to give them thawed water in the afternoon. When I returned from my afternoon errands, it was 5pm and they were already in for the night. It was dark and both of their water sources were frozen over. I was worried about them becoming dehydrated. My husband gently reassured me, but I still worried about them. I couldn’t help it, I’m their Mom.
Later that night, I was deep in a dream. Then I heard it, the loud deep bark of a dog. It happened twice. I woke with the sandman’s sand still in my eyes. I was foggy and dazed. I looked at the clock. It was 11:52pm. I thought that a dog was in my room. Then I thought it was my neighbors’ dog or a stray dog running through the yard. As I pondered these explanations, my husband gently snored next to me. Then I heard the unmistakable howl of a coyote. I immediately sprang into action. Were my chickens in danger?
I jumped out of bed and as quick as my feet could carry me, I flew down the stairs and flicked on the front light. I looked over at the coop and saw nothing. Then I saw it trotting gracefully down the driveway into the shadows of the night. It was a big, graceful and stealthlike coyote. It was leaving after being startled from the light. After it was out of sight, I turned off the light and made my way back to my warm and toasty bed.
I could hear my heart pounding in my ears. I lay there wondering if it had dug a big hole under the run? I wondered if it would return later in the evening? Did it claw and scratch at the coop? Would Chocolate protect the girls from the coyote? Eventually, I drifted back to sleep and did not wake up until the morning.
Today when I went out to bring the flock fresh warm water, there were no signs of the nighttime visitor, no damage, no digging and tracks. The coop proved to be a safe haven from coyotes. This week our predator score is chickens-2, predators-0.