Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shutting down the Coon diner!

Before I write my morning adventure, I would like apologize to anyone who is offended/does not believe, in the actions I am about to share . I thank you for visiting and reading my posts of our Homesteading adventures, but if in any way you are offended by wild animals that kill other animals, being shot-even if it is to protect your own, then please skip this post. I do hope you will join us for my next posting. I believe everyone is entitled to their own way of living life with good intentions & this is one of mine. I hope you respect the fact that I respect your beliefs and is the reason I am writing this caution. Feel free to click this link which will take you to my other recent post on upcycling a sweater into a knit flat top Beanie visored hat.

I awoke late, for me. At 6 am I grabbed my coffee & went out on the porch to observe the beautiful moon we had. It sat in the western sky with dark clouds surrounding the glowing orb like the ones you see in werewolves movies. Breath taking beautiful.
Then.... I heard it. A hen cries out in the night and my adrenaline starts to pump. I rush into into the house, still PJ clad, to grab some boots & the .22 . Wheres the flashlight? I can't find my flashlight! Darn kids never leave my light alone.... Thankfully Mr.J put it in that big area light on the coop area. I grab the bullet clip and rush out to the chicken coop, looking a picture in my get up like those old time farmers in long johns, boots & a rifle.

As I get up the hill, I see it. This huge coon emerging from the coop door. I smile a wicked smile and think to myself "I got you now, you chicken eating thief.".
It makes a dash through the inside gate where the night can hide his location. No big deal. He is still in the run & after his most recent dining, I know where he is coming & going through.

I run around to the side of the work shop where the fence meets it's corner. Dang it. The Rain water system is blocking the corner view. I have to step out slightly more to get a shot as comes over the fence. But it looks like in his disorientation, he came up with a different plan.

The coon tries to climb up a corner further down, but can not climb out thanks to the "jail like" fencing angle on the chain link fence top. I wait patiently. Trying to adjust my eyes in the night on his dark figure. He hangs on the inside of the fence, most likely contemplating his next move. I fear shooting now would not work since the metal fence may ricochet the bullet if my shot is off.

After a minute, just when I thought I had him, he climbs down to go back to the other side of the chicken pen. I run around & he spots me. Running back towards that far dark corner.
I run, trying to get a clear shot so when he climbs I can just stick the barrel through the fence and aim at the corner 25 ft away.

Too late. he's up & over quicker then I could run. I hear his steps rustling leaves as he escapes into the woods with his life still in tact. Angrily I yell into the night "I'll get you coon! I now have a thirst for coon blood & your days are numbered!".

I sat out there by the coop, waiting to see if it would come back. After a bit the sun was rising giving more light so I could do a perimeter check. One pipe that held the fence at an angle is broken. The rust gave in easily to the weight of the coon & broke. Making it easy for it to climb in & out. I see a trail of feathers leading into the woods, so I follow it. Then I heard an odd noise & thought it had come back. As I go around one tree, I see something I did not expect. A lone hen, huddled under some briar's. She turns her head towards my voice and my heart breaks.

Her beak is destroyed and one eye is so swollen she cannot see. I talk soothing words as I step slowly towards her and scoop the frightened dear into my arms. I hear a crunch & know there is a broken bone. My anger at the coon swells up at the same time my compassion for this lone hen almost brings tears to my eyes.

I put her gently in the pen before asking The Captain to help and put her out of her misery. I know she will not survive her injuries and refuse to let her suffer. All my animals are raised with great care & respect. I have shared before my way of butchering. Never is the deed done before whispering my thanks for their sacrifice. Providing food for my family. I raise them with much happier lives then store meat. Days scratching in the grass, following us in the garden after the tilling & harvest is over. Taking dust baths beneath trees, treats & scraps shared freely and lots of petting & attention from all of us. They have a purpose but there is no reason to do it in a cold uncaring way.

I'll be utilizing my early morning waking to see if he comes back ....Smart little critter. The live trap has not worked so in order to protect what is left of our animals, 2 rabbits. It's stake out time! Looks like I'll be in the market for some hens soon. Maybe I'll wait till Spring & just buy pullets. Preventing the need to feed chicks all winter,( giving more free dinner to that coon).And plenty of time to RE-secure the fencing & coop for our next feathered flock.

Sweeter dreams,


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