Last night as I/we normally do after getting home from work I went to the garage and got a scoop of chicken feed to feed our three chickens. From a distance away I saw the massacre. A dead chewed up chicken lying in the middle of our chicken coop. The chicken wire had been torn off and feathers were everywhere. I looked around and the second and third chicken was missing. Where did they go? I concluded the guilty party(ies) had killed one and taken the other two for a later meal.
Then out of the corner of my eye I see the two hens alive and well strolling around our yard. I realized that while the intruder was busy killing the first hen the other two escaped the scene.
What shall I do now? Cut our losses and butcher the two quickly before the offender returns? Sarah and I were ready to end their lives soon anyway as freezing weather was coming and we don't have adequate shelter. Or do I repair the cage and put the two alive ones back in?
I began to repair the cage and one of the hens came to me and wanted back in the cage to get some food. I decided to hope for the best so I let her in and shut the door. The other was more reluctant. A few staples here and there and I had the cage all fixed up. Before on occasion the chickens have gotten out during feeding and after darkness they are easier to catch. Using this thought I decided to wait until dark to catch the one outside the cage and hope the intruder would leave us alone until Sat. when I could commit time to skinning them. Though I didn't think the cage was varmint proof I was surprised after all summer with no disturbances that now, during the last week before we planned to slaughter them, that we would have wild animal issues.
Darkness had finally come and I asked Sarah to go out and get the lone ranger hen and put her in the cage. She reluctantly accepted. After going outside she discovers that the crime scene was a crime scene yet again. Hen #2 had been killed and upon a thorough sweep of the yard hen #3 was missing. Was she also caught and taken away. We don't know yet. The cage had been torn into again. I feel horrible for not protecting them but next summer the cage will be reinforced. Where is hen #3? I suspect that she is either gone or she was hiding underneath or up in the evergreen trees in our yard. I will look again tonight.
Part 2 - The chicken massacre continued...
When daylight returned chicken #3 was found alive a well. We got her back in the cage and moved the cage to the garage.
Here are a few pictures (upon request). View at your own discretion.
All that is left of chicken #2.
The lone ranger, who actually has a bloody wound on her back.