It’s the sort of thing that anyone who owns chickens dreads—coming out and finding a bunch of feathers in the yard. I started walking the paths and discovered other patches of feathers, no birds except two: Patty and Third. Patty survived our first dog attack almost six years ago. Third was one of three of our youngest hens.
Up over the hill, I found more feathers. Then a portion of one chicken. Not much left except wings, a bit of a backbone, and a foot. Nearby I found Minion, badly mauled and near death. She couldn’t be saved.
A bit farther on I found the place where dogs or coyotes had dug under our fence to get into the yard. Also feathers from Flighty, a tough survivor from our second group of hens.
Further searching showed scattered patches of feathers but no other remains. No sign of the attacker or attackers, who must have gone back under the fence.
I piled stones and wood along the base of the fence to block off the spot where they dug under. Maybe it will keep them out.
I buried Minion and the remains of the other chicken, either Floppy or Paltry, no way to tell which. Along with Baldy and Flighty, they were gone.
I walked the property with Xander and Kate without discovering anything more.
I moved our dome coop closer to the house—though from feathers outside, whatever attacked had come right up behind the house. Patty and Third went inside, so I locked them safely away for now.
It’s sad. I’m sad. I haven’t been eating eggs since switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet, but I enjoy seeing the chickens. I feel bad that they died being chased, mauled, and devoured by a predator. Eventually, I want a better fence system around the property, both for privacy and security.
Not the way I planned on starting the day.