Monday, November 3, 2014
Mr. Fancy Pants Is No More
I discovered Mr. Fancy Pants was missing when he did not come running out of the shed he and his hens slept in over night. Where could he be ? I make sure they are inside before dark every night and I close and secure the door. Not only was there no Mr. FP in sight, but every day I was missing another hen. How could this be ? I had not heard or seen any predators, yet chickens I am attached to have been disappearing ,seemingly without a trace. No feathers about the area, no hawks lingering, nor any coyotes . ( My dogs would have alerted us to this )
The mystery was solved because the season changed and the fall took away the leaf cover of the trees. I can now see my chicken pens from our upstairs back windows. As I was enjoying the sight of one of my roosters courting a hen I happened to notice a lot of feathers on top of one of the dove pens. A LOT of feathers. A ladder and an investigation by my husband showed the remains of Mr. Fancy Pants and 6 hens were strewn all over the roof. Now we had to discover the stinking, slinking murderer. And we did.
Our German Shepherd Whimsy's barking alerted us one early morning ( around 2:00 a.m. ) and my husband discovered an opossum at a window in the shed near the roof of Mr. FP's home. Possums were killing the chickens and dragging them onto the roof to consume at their leisure. That particular opossum is no longer a problem, but we know there are at least a few more near-by who know there are chickens to be had.We have set traps for any future marauders and murderers and moved the few remaining chickens to safer housing.
FYI ,I think you might be interested to know we had detected a strong odor around my chicken pens for many days prior to our discovery of the culprits. The odor smells like skunk but is not as strong. That is opossum!
I am hoping one of my hens related to Mr. Fancy Pants will hatch out and raise another like him. Yes, I really do miss my Fancy Pants who is no more.