The other day the Farmer ventured out to the chicken coop on his daily round of chores and egg collection, only to find a massacre had taken place in the coop. This is not the first time that we have lost chickens to vermin around the farm. It is, however, the first time they have been killed in mass numbers in the safety of their own coop. It was disturbing to find that we had lost five hens in one fowl (he he) swoop. The bodies were missing, but we could safely assume the worst.
Chalking this kill up to another raccoon, the usual suspect on our farm, the Farmer promptly baited a live trap and waited for his catch. Several days has gone by and we have not seen hide nor tail of the guilty party. The bait disappears each day, but the trap had not been sprung. We began thinking the was a clever raccoon indeed.
While doing some maintenance work a couple days after the crime, the Farmer stumbled upon a small hole under our large machine shed. Around the hole were the remains of our precious egg layers. Apparently whatever killed the chickens also tried to bring them home, but did not take in to account just how well fed our hens are... It seemed as though the animal did it's best to drag the lifeless bodies under the shed and in the process tore them to pieces. Either way, that little critter got a good meal, even if it did have to have take out for several nights.
The other day I was standing in Aiden's room doing my motherly duty of diaper changes (Boy, this kid can poop!), when I hear the surprised screeching of one of our Auracana hens. She came flying (ok, they cannot fly, but she was running fast enough to take off) around the corner of the corn crib like her tail feathers were on fire! Just then I saw another Auracana hen run through the goat pasture with a small mink hot on her trail. This was my Oprah Ah-ha moment! A mink, of course! That is why we could not catch it in the live trap - it could squeeze through the wire.