|This is Jack holding Midnight, she was killed yesterday.|
We are losing like a chicken a day. It is so frustrating. We don't have so many chickens that they are anonymous to the children; it has been painful for them to see the dead birds. One of the birds was so cruelly killed that it was opened up completely and spread over a wide area. I think it is a fisher cat, which doesn't each fish and isn't a cat, but there you have it. Our dog has been agitated daily and wanting out at night to run and howl and twice was sprayed by a skunk. It makes sense now because we are hearing fishers.
What's a fisher? You can read about them HERE but suffice it to say that they are like the Arnold of weasels and can take down a fox. Interestingly enough, in a creepy Twilight Zone kind of way, they sound like screaming children. Seriously, like toddlers screaming. So there was one by the pole barn this afternoon, after two days of dead birds, and when I went to put the chickens in for the night another was missing. I counted again, then heard screaming (which at first I thought was the three year old refusing to put on PJs), then I heard squawking and then our dog Kuki shot out in the dark and chased it into the tall grass. She came back, pleased as punch, and I looked for the missing chicken Hermes. I should tell you that I did not see the fisher, but really, I am okay with that.What I did see was the missing hen.
Hermes was under the van beast (Lisa's cool word for a 15 passenger van), right near the driver's front tire. I pulled her out and she was moving but not squawking or fighting me. I took her right over to the coop, like a lot fast because I didn't want to see the fisher again. I would have had to throw the chicken at it and run and would have be villanized by the kids for sacrificing another chicken. Small price to pay to avoid being eating by a ferret terminator. I put her down outside the coop and was able to make in on her own power and even eat a bit. All the other chicken popped out of the nesting box to come look at Hermes and eat, too. It was like they were all piled up in the one box they all like, too afraid to come out, like kids hiding under their bed covers.
So, I am hoping that after dinner, a drink and a good rest that Hermes the Zombie Chicken will live to tempt predators another day. I hope so. I am so sick of driving out into the woods on the tractor to throw a dead chicken out far enough not to bring even more predators here. We shall see. And you shall have to see all those pictures of food storage strung together into a fascinating blog post some other day. Because today we cleaned up both skunk mess and fisher scat (polite word for poo).
Oh, and go Google fisher screams. They are horrible! I didn't embed them here because it would be really mean to make you scream your own head off. Can you imagine? You are sitting here, waiting to talk about food and canning and then you hear what sounds like a tortured two year old screaming. Not nice. But now that I know just what I have been hearing out in the woods and it is not campers with toddlers having bad weekend trips, I will be on the alert. Tomorrow night, when we got out, I am bringing Eli and his good friend Daisy along for the ride. Hint, hint, wink, wink!