Tag / coyote

Chickens Predators Stories from Our Nest

Chickens-3, Predators-0

Last night when I arrived home, it was around 5:30pm.  The flock was in for the night.  Quickly, I refilled the water bowl for inside the coop, slid it in and tried to shut the door.  Oyster Cracker came off the roost to see what I was doing.  Unfortunately, the chickens can’t see well in the dark and she was so confused.  Interestingly enough, as I peered into the coop to try and settle Oyster Cracker back onto the roost, I noticed that the sleeping positions on the roosts had changed.

Usually on the front roost, I find Oyster Cracker next to Sunshine; next to her is Tilly then Chocolate.  Well tonight was different for some reason. All four silkies and Tilly were on the front roost with Chocolate.  Six were so tightly squeezed together that I wondered how they could be comfortable.  However, apparently they were.  They were all nuzzled and fluffed up together fast asleep.  I finally locked them inside and rechecked all the doors for security.  I find it funny that instinct tells us to do certain things.  I am not sure why I did that, but now I know.  My intuition was trying to tell me something.

Around 2 am, I awoke from a very deep sleep.  I heard some sort of eerie yelling noise.  I heard it again.  It was a high pitched howl coming from the side of our house near our bedroom.  There was no mistaking what I had heard.  We had a visitor; a coyote again.  I leapt out of bed and put the lights on in the front and the back of the house.  I heard the howl again but from the other side of the house.  I checked on the coop through the window.  All the doors were closed.  I did not hear the rooster so, I assumed that they were all safely locked inside.  In fact, they were probably sleeping unaware of their unexpected guest.

I looked all around the yard and never did see the coyote.  I waited for about 5 minutes and then I turned off the lights and went back to bed.  My heart was still beating like crazy.  I laid there.  In the distance, I could hear the coyote howling.  It was gone but my mind was awake.  Finally after what seemed an eternity, I did doze back off to sleep.  When I went outside this morning, there were no signs of the visitor.  My chickens happily came out into the run and started to scratch in the dirt and it was just like nothing ever happened.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Coyote

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.