When I decided to get chickens, I did a lot of reading, I needed to learn a lot. One of the things I saw mentioned many times was that if you have chickens, you need to be prepared to lose some to predators mainly. I made a very secure coop and run for my chickens, my biggest fear was from hawks when they free-range. I wasn’t too concerned about the four legged predators because I didn’t let them out until mid to late morning and they are not allowed out unless myself or my wife were home. We didn’t stand watch over them but would check on them periodically .
Yesterday, Saturday, I was out working in the yard, the chickens were out a scratching and a pecking, my wife, Lil, was on the back deck watching us. About 11:00 am I went in for a drink, Lil, screamed and was running off the deck. I ran out and Lil said a fox had grabbed Ini. There were a small pile of feathers by the screen house and I followed a trail of feathers into the woods and out back to the field, where I lost them. Fox and Ini were gone.
Lil had secured the chickens in the run and had picked up the feathers. She told me later this was for the service.
My chickens were a lot noisier before this attack, why didn’t I put them in the run?? They sensed something was wrong. I’ve lost my first chicken at 16 months. My wife and I were heart-broken.
Well, it is still Saturday and I have errands to do. Drove downtown, didn’t even turn on the radio, just kept playing the morning over and over in my head. Told a couple of people what had happened, Laura, who also has chickens was very sad for me. As soon as I got home I went to the run to see how everyone was and one of the chickens is out, running around the run. The door is closed, there are chickens inside, how did you get out????? I’m ashamed to admit, but I have a hard time telling the ladies apart, I didn’t know who was out or why. I lured her into the run with sunflower seeds and then counted heads. SIX!!!! 1 rooster and 5 hens, INI IS BACK!!! the fox didn’t get her, Lil’s scream must has scared the fox.
I yelled for Lil and we checked out Ini. She had a 3 to 4 inch long slice on her left side, it looked like just the skin had been cut open but she needed to be stitched together. Lil sews beautiful quilts but din’t feel qualified to sew a chicken back together. Me, out of the question, so we took her to a vet. A holistic vet in the next town. Dr Margo Ramon of MASH (Main St. Animal Services of Hopkinton) her phone number is 508-435-4077. I don’t know which came first the phone number or the name.
Ini is home, stitched up and living in the big house for a few days till she heals.
Earlier in the day, Lil had asked me what my plans for the day were. This was not what I planned.