Monday, March 15, 2010

A Ruckus in the Chicken House

Last night, from a dead sleep, we were woken by cackling.  Those who have chickens know that they don't move two steps after dark, and very rarely make any noise at all at night.  We both bolted out of bed, exclaiming, "what? what?"  My first thought was that something was trying to get into the coop, disturbing the hens.

I was yelling, "Turn on the light and scare it away as I tripped my way to the switch, and Ben threw the big rubber boots on with his jammies and rushed out the door, me handing him my trusty dog chasing baseball bat that sit right against the jamb on the way.  Halfway across the deck, he turned and came back for the flashlight.

I stopped to put on some pants with my night shirt and find my shoes, then headed out to help him.  I plugged in the light in the coop and held the flashlight for him while he inspected the ladies.

In the end, we have no idea what happened at all.  If there was a predator, I'd suppose all the noise we made inside the house scared it off before we even turned the corner.  I'm sure it was loud, since the coop is parked directly below our bedroom windows for the winter.

Ben had forgotten to close their door last night, and Matilda was outside of the pen on the wind break straw bales when he found her.  He thinks she might have gotten out last evening and couldn't get back in, so slept on the straw.  But I can't think why Big Mama would have been sounding the alarm in the middle of the night if that were the case.  I wonder if maybe something might have been carrying Matilda off, and dropped her when Big Mama called and we made so much noise.  Ben said she looked pretty settled down on the bale, but I imagine that's what a chicken does in the dark and when threatened, hunkers down and tries to look flat and nonexistent.

Sorry the story doesn't have much of a climax, but it does have a happy ending.  All seven of the chickie chicks are doing fine today, with not a mark on them, wandering around and trying to convince me that they need me to give them a loaf of bread to soothe them.

They got celery leaves and cucumber peelings instead.

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Avian Aqua Miser said...

So much excitement! I feel lucky to have Lucy patrolling the perimeter. She doesn't let _anything_ in, so we sleep soundly. (Except when she goes on barking jags, that is. :-) )

Bronnie said...

My neighbors have chickens and I want them too!!

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