From the title you’re probably thinking, “Who died?” No one has, at least not humanly speaking. Anyway with all my success and everything good happening, something bad always has to happen to shake down the joy. Just days earlier I was having reminiscence of my childhood with my little feathered friends of how they were like pets and buddies to me.
One afternoon I am going to check on my chickens for the routine feeding, water, and checkup. I go get the hose to bring it to the water dish for fresh water. It is over 100 degrees, and I am doing this before I go on an overnight fishing trip.
I come to the bowl and I see a chicken floating in the bowl. I pick it up to inspect it and the head was chewed off and the breast feathers were ripped off. I listen. It is unusually quiet. No others are coming out to greet me like normal. I go in the coop. There is another dead one survivor, but all others were MIA. Feathers were everywhere.
I was angry. I was sad. I wanted to kill whatever did it. I go in the house and call my father and husband to tell the news and to get my thoughts straight. I go outside to investigate. On one side of the fence there were spots where something had been digging. Three different places on the same side. There was one definite entry point, but two were uncertain. There had to be more than one to create this sort of damage in one night.
Twenty-two chickens gone in one night. This usually doesn’t happen. It confounded all understanding. We all come to the conclusion that it was a pack of coyotes. That is the only pack animal we have around here. They were brought into the SE to control the deer population, but they are causing havoc around here. All other animals that usually get chickens only get one or few at a time–not twenty two at a time. We eliminated dogs since we haven’t see any dogs around.
I take the sole survivor and put her into a cage on the porch and gave her food and water. I named her Lucky.
Back to coyotes. Here in the SE there have been accounts of people’s dog and cats being killed and carried off by coyote packs, and they have been seen attacking livestock, and there have been accounts of people being attacked. They have spread like wildfire and can be heard howling in the towns around. GA DNR has warranted for hunters and marksmen to shoot coyotes on sight since they pose a threat to people and animals and they carry disease. Coyotes are not cute and cuddly–they are the opposite. You don’t know till you are on the field and see them for yourself and when tragedy like this happens to you.
Just last night my husband and our dog saw a pack of 10 coyotes beside his grandmother’s house at dusk, which, by the way is next door. They were probably the culprits. A couple chickens apiece–you do the math.