Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Varmints

Do NOT go after my chickens or I will SO blast you with my, um, air gun.

D'oh!

My chickens are really stoopid. That's a redundancy, I know, like "annoying children" or "smelly dogs", but they will keep wandering out in the pasture where we no longer have a giant dog-eating draft horse. The current horses, when they actually notice the coyote walking right past them, pretty much say, "Huh, lookit the coyootie."

I've been very remiss about lining our board fence with wire mesh, to keep bird in and predators out. I'm slowly getting there, but my wonky back limits me to about an hour of fence work at a time. Feh. So, anyhoo, a short while ago I heard a commotion involving squawking barn fowl out in the pasture, and glanced up to see my gang of "teenage" hens fly-running in the general direction of the henhouse or the neighbor's pasture, depending on your perspective. I bolted for the kitchen door, jumped into my wellies, grabbed a rifle from the stack, and ran out along their angle of escape. Sure enough, there was a pile of yellow feathers under the cedar trees. I actually yelled "Aaaaagh!" as I poked the clump of fluff, looking for blood. Nothing. I still figured I was down one Buff Orpington. Of course I couldn't see a dog-shaped anything anywhere, although it was probably peering at me from the brush at the edge of the back pasture.

I found Roxanne (the barred rock) in Gallant's, the neighbor's thouroughbred, stall. The other girls were all, yes all, under a stack of tin roofing next to the stall. With the help of Mrs. Neighbor, who wondered what I was doing peering under her roofing materials, we flushed out the birds and I herded them back to their yard. One of the Orpies is missing a dog mouthfull of feathers from her left "hip", right in front of her tail. There's a bit of tearing, but I'll just put some antibiotic goo on it tonight when she settles down. It looks clean and she's not limping. Poor baby. I've seen worse, though, and maybe they'll stay closer to home now.

Note to self: do more target practice and learn what all those darned guns next to the kitchen door actually are. Even if I had actually seen the offender and shot at it and not missed, which I always do, I'm not sure an air gun would have dropped it. I loathe the idea of merely wounding an animal. No suffering, please, and fewer predators, double please. Sound cruel? Sorry, Mrs. Neighbor also informed me that the reason Mrs. Goat Lady, another neighbor, is down to one goat is that the coyotes got the female. I shoot to kill. If you're a dog, and you're in my pasture, I will, and I quote Capt. Mal Reynolds, (try to) "end you".

2 comments:

  1. I'm all for co-exhistance. but if a predator goes after one of mine, its end is required.

    eventually the world will be populated only with those predators who know their place, going after annoying children, unfenced sheep and the like as god intended and leaving the well behaved livestock alone!

    its part of life in teh country...varmints... and septic tanks. :)

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  2. God bless you for your Serenity quotes. I miss that show!!!

    Glad the chicks are okay and I hope you have fun learning how to shoot.

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