But to my disappointment I noticed that the class took a trip to a women’s house that owned chickens and had a larger garden/yard. I was upset a bit as I to own 3 egg-laying chickens and love to garden even if it is only 3 6'x4' planter boxes in my back yard. I figured I would post some images of my birds.
I introduce you to Parmesan, Teriyaki, and Cordon Blue. They are a bit squawky but very friendly birds since I’ve handled them ever since they were chicks. This last week [Memorial Day] a Opossum got into the hen house and attacked Teriyaki... she’s such a perfect bird, not to squawky, and lays perfect sized eggs.
Here are the accounts of that night:
4:45 this morning Andrea and I are rudely awaken by the death throws of one of our chickens in the coop. I jump straight out of bed in nothing but my underwear and run outside, while Andrea pounds on the window frame. [our window is directly in front of the coop] I run out grab a rake as I head for the coop. At first I don't see a thing but as I go to open the coop fearing the worst I see it. I god damned Opossum with a mouth full of chicken feathers. My eyes adjust its not moving but I see it right in front of me. The chicken is in the corner just screaming and screaming. I grab a shovel near me and slam it into the Opossum's head, it doesn't move. The chickens still just screaming. I yell "Andrea... get out here now!" She runs out and I say "Get me the pitchfork quick!" She starts fumbling around looking for it as I say "I think I've got to put her down" "She’s hurt bad, and I’ve got this damned Opossum trapped" I tell her the pitchfork is near the vegetable garden and she runs over worry in her face. I tell her to get away because I don't know what to expect from this cornered animal. Then, the chicken realizes I'm saving her and jumps out right next to me, looks at me and runs to the two other chickens in the corner of the yard. I can't tell if this damned thing is dead or alive because it's playing dead so I slam it as hard as I can with the shovel, it doesn't move. I hit it so hard one of the boards in the back of the coop pops off, as I’m completely jacked up with adrenaline. I grab the pitchfork and do the deed; it looks at me and curls into a ball. I feel bad but it disserved it.
I close the coop with it in it and leave the pitchfork in. I need to calm down. Birds are fine from what I can see in the early morning light. It's only the middle bird, the good bird... figures. She’s got a few feathers missing and what looks like a bite mark on her hindquarter but otherwise alive and well. I let the birds on the other side of their fenced off area and close the gate. Andrea and I go inside and try to calm down.
What happened to the damned opossum you ask? Well I don't know... I figured it was dead so I left it with the pitchfork trough it's neck but when I went to clean up the mess it's gone. Escaped through the one bored I knocked out of the back even though I had put a stepping stone up on the entrance of the coop to keep it in. I'm sure it will be back, so next time i will be more ready. Looks like i will be making a fence sooner then later.