We have had LOTS of excitement at our house the past few days!! Dave and Drew are on a canoe trip with the church in upper Wisconsin and Natalie is on a mission trip in Indiana with the church. Yes, our household has been cut in half and what a difference it has made!! The house has stayed somewhat cleaner, less food to prepare but OTHER things to deal with.
The kids have laying hens for their 4-H projects. I purchased 36 chickens of various breeds......I thought that I was out of my own mind!!! As of today we are down to 14! We have had a large problem with a coon family.
I was standing at the sink, during the middle of the day and I could see the chickens flying around the pen. I flew out the door and started screaming.....the mother coon was on her way over the fence with one of our chickens. It was the largest coon I have ever seen. The chicken barely survived and the coon got away (yes, husband was gone).
Dave set a trap for her but she destroyed the cage twice!! Feisty thing.
My dad so graciously drove me to get horse paneling to place on top of the outdoor pen..........at last the pen was secure!! Dad did say the coon will even crawl on the roof to get to the chickens....a wise old man!!
Two days ago I took a bucket of kitchen scraps out to the chickens and couldn't believe my eyes. 4 dead chickens and one nearly dead!! They all had their heads bitten off. I was just sick. I couldn't figure out how the animal got in and what kind it was. After a little research I discovered that coons/weasels bite the head off and eat the brains for nutrients...........YUK!!!
That night I locked the chickens inside the shed where I knew they would be safe! I stepped out of the house at 10:00 that night and heard some fluttering in the shed. I put my boots on and took the kids with me (safety in numbers when it's pitch dark), we searched outside and inside and found only empty egg shells. We closed the door and headed to the house when Jenny discovered a coon on the roof of the shed!! The coon had peeled back the tin roof to get inside the shed! How clever..........but not for long! We chased him back and forth on the roof with a bebe gun and flashlight...........not really clever on our part!! I was trying to figure out what my plan would be!? Hee Hee.
Well, what does one do when the only weapon you own is a pitch fork? I have used it to kill possums in the chicken pen. Sam ran for the fork and Jenny graciously trapped it in the corner of the shed.......now what do we do? Weapon #2, a garden rake! It didn't really work like I thought it would. It was 10:30 at night and who should I call that can kill a coon for me? I called my brother Jeff and he came over and shot our critter. 5 shots later he was dead............I now know how to load and unload a 22. Anne's has her gun!!!
Still not sure we will have chickens for the fair this year...poor things are pretty shook up. Who would want to lay an egg?! You know this stuff ALWAYS happens when the husband is gone :)
I also had a REALLY bad smell in my garage...........like something died!! On Monday, while driving I had hit a Morning Dove. I didn't realize it was hanging upside down on the front of my bumper.........hence the REALLY bad smell!! Thanks to my dad for removing the dead bird and burying the dead coon!
Yesterday Jenny had her 4 wisdom teeth removed. She found out that her stomach doesn't do well with narcotics!! Her youngest brother made chipmunk noises at her.......wait until it's HIS turn. Jenny slept through the night so I am taking that as a good sign. I hope today that her swelling will go down some.
The troops all return home sometime today. Things, I hope, should return to normal...........whatever that is!?