Thursday, October 8, 2009
Going out of (Chicken) Business
Recently, a 75 year old woman was attacked by a gang of raccoons she was trying to scare off her front porch. The poor woman fell and was, as one medic described, "filleted." Personally, I've always thought of raccoons as really adorable - like an urban bear - despite knowing that they really are vicious sonsofbitches. I get sort of excited when I see one in the city as though I really were seeing a bear in the city instead of something that is only slightly more unique than a squirrel.
Last night the raccoons that have squatted in my neighbor's tree came back for two of our last three chickens. We went out early in the evening and neglected to lock up their coop since it was just dinner time. By the time we returned, it was all over - although I didn't realize this until I went to open the coop this morning and there was only poor, tiny Muffy Fluffy left. Sad, small Muffy Fluffy who lived through last winter's storm and has now witnessed FIVE chicken deaths.
Cleaning up disemboweled chickens first thing in the morning is no picnic but I consoled myself by telling myself that this is what is required to make it in the urban/rural environment. I was taking care of my homestead - like a rugged pioneer woman. Plus, I worried the left over parts would begin to smell and the neighbors might complain.
Speaking of neighbors, I gather a few of them rushed over after hearing a "horrible screaming" to throw rocks at the raccoons and attempt to keep the chickens safe. Something we were too lazy/spacey/inept to do. I saw one neighbor walking with his daughter tonight and I imagined the teaching moment, It's very important that if you own animals you keep them safe.
Later that evening I helped a woman I found on CraigsList load Muffy Fluffy into her car to go live on her farm and it only stung a little bit when she said, "We like to take rescues because we like to see the look on their faces when they realize they've come to paradise." Mostly I felt happy for Muffy Fluffy and relieved. We were officially out of the chicken business - for now.