Saturday, July 8, 2017

What is in the Coop!?

The chickens are laying in the forest. We're out of eggs. Do you know how hard it is to bake anything with no eggs? Okay, those with egg allergies do, though we don't have that issue. I went from having a dozen and an half eggs per day to just one, two, or three on a good day. The egg count started dwindling about a month ago, and I expected it was the hens running off into the woods broody. Three, four weeks, no chicks. What's up? 

T.J. came in during his evening chores and announced there may be a raccoon in the coop. Raccoons eat the heads off chickens! And there had been one headless chicken recently. Ben went out to protect the chickens and came back in to tell me about his adventure. "Guess what was in the coop?" Since his arrival was preceded by a particular musky scent,  I easily surmised. Thankfully, the skunk hadn't sprayed the men, and a wash took off the lingering scent. However, the chickens perfumed the yard in a whole new way.

Skunks usually just eat eggs. The chickens don't like their routine interrupted, and lay elsewhere until they find the trespasser is a pacifist. However, if there are no eggs, then the skunk will happily munch a chicken head instead. The lost chicken last month was probably a meal for this malodorous intruder.

Now, we have a trap. In the evening, T.J. sets it up just inside the coop to catch anything entering through the chicken door. Our first victim?

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