It’s often said that if you hear your chickens raise their “alarm call”, you’d better go check things out because something is probably trying to kill them. Four times this past month they’ve sounded the alarm and every time I’ve gone out to the barn/woods/pasture to save them, the coast was clear. So this morning when I heard them screaming from the barn I decided to ignore it. It’s a long run out from the house and I wasn’t about to fall for their trickery again. Plus I wasn’t finished with my coffee.
After about twenty minutes I walked into the barn and saw a few hens pacing around in the first stall. They were nervously looking at the ground, then at me, that back at the ground. Pure white feathers were everywhere like someone had slashed open a pillow and walked around the barnyard with it. Even worse, these feathers belonged to Mary White, a fine snow-colored hen who lays blue eggs…and she was nowhere to be seen. I put on my detective hat and began to comb through the evidence. Unfortunately it told a tale of horror. Whoever the predator was, he first attacked Mary White outside on the South side of the barn. She ran inside for cover, through a small opening and into the “chicken kitchen” feeding area. The foul beast also ran inside and cornered her to continue his violent assault.
After he subdued poor Mary he dragged her back through the kitchen door, across the stall, and under the rear wall to the outside. A long trail of feathers snaked through the pasture, up the hill, and under the fence next to the woods.
From there the trail went cold and somewhere in the dark forest the distant scream of a chicken echoed in the shadows. Back inside the barn I reassured the animals that the danger had passed and everything would be fine. But I had seen this type of carnage before and knew the killer would soon be back.
To be continued…