I am not a hunter. I do not like trophy hunting, or hunting just for the pleasure of killing something. If you are going to hunt and eat the meat and use the hide, or horns, or head or whatever, that is one thing. Senseless killing is just a waste. And cruel. Just wanted to make myself clear. Besides I don’t have the heart to shoot a living thing. Or the stomach to gut it and skin it. Maybe if I was mad enough, and pray I hit it, then I might be able to kill something.
Now on to coyote hunting. I have, or had about five older hens that were getting close to quit laying eggs, or had quit laying eggs. The Buff Cochin I kept around mainly because she was my favorite hen. And when I did get chicks, she was the best mother. She would sit outside the pen made just for them to keep them safe from the other hens that will at times pick on babies that are not their own. But Buff, she did not care if they were hers or not. She would make them hers. She would sit outside the chick pen and make all kinds of comforting noises to them, and get as close as she could. I was not sure she was even getting up to eat or drink. She was always in the same spot morning and night. When the chicks had been in the pen for a few days, I would open it up and let Buff in. Oh was she ever so happy. She would cluck and spread her wings and all the chicks would come running to get under her for warmth and comfort. She was very protective of them when the other hens would try and check them out or pick at them. Even the big dogs learned to leave them alone.
Well, I have gotten off track again as usual. Five old hens and seven new chicks from this spring. The new chicks are just beginning to lay eggs this past week or so. Several months ago Buff was ailing and we had to shoot her. I never thought I would cry over a chicken, but my heart was sad. Like I said she was my favorite hen. We had lost another old hen as well. That left three old hens and the seven newbies. Well, about a week or so ago all the chickens were out running free as I have always done since owning chickens. We have never had any trouble with coyotes coming up to kill any of them. Ever. Until one day. They had been following grasshoppers that were amazingly still around even after the hard freeze we had recently. They have been by the road before. I had to leave and was on my way down the road when I seen a pile of reddish feathers in the ditch. A lot of feathers. And all of my newbies have red feathers. Of course I am assuming it was a coyote. I had heard them across the road that morning. The dogs had heard them as well and had given chase even though I never got sight of them. Sure enough when it was time to shut them up for the night and do a head count, I was shy one. And it was one of the new ones. Not to sound cruel, but the coyote, or whatever had gotten it could have at least gotten one of the old hens that was not laying any more. But no, it had to get a young one. I did leave them penned up for several days. I did see one coyote down at the corner on the neighbors property bordering ours a few days after that first kill. For several days more I kept them shut in the pen. This morning I decided there wasn’t any activity coyote wise, so I decided to let them out again for awhile since it was a nice sunny morning. Mostly anyway. We have another of the old hens that has been looking kind of poorly and we are trying to decide whether to dispatch her or not. I was inside reading when all four dogs tried to break down the door to get outside. By the time I looked out I couldn’t see anything. When I went out to look I found another pile of feathers. I was not happy. And what color were they? Not the white ailing chicken’s feathers. Yes, red feathers. A lot of feathers. I was really grumbling by this time. My husband wasn’t home and I didn’t want to try and shoot something. Beside there was no sign of where it went. I let the big dogs out and they charged south then north across the hay field. I still couldn’t see anything, so when Tom finally got home, he took a gun out and looked. He found the remains by our lagoon which if I would have kept looking I might have seen if it was a coyote or dog. Now I want to kill the coyote. Finally what the title is about!
It needs to be done. It has killed twice and I can’t let the chickens out now. We also have a dachshund and another smallish dog that I am now afraid to let out front unattended. The dachshund had gotten attacked by two coyotes several years ago. Thankfully she survived. Tom did shoot that one. It was a male and it did have a mate. We didn’t kill her as the male was the one doing the damage. We had no more problems with anything after that. Until now. The thing that bothers me the most is that the hen was up close to the house. The feathers were found half way up our driveway just a about ten feet or more from the house. Coyotes don’t generally come that close to houses do they? If they have before, it was at night when everything is shut up and quiet. We feed the dogs in the house so there is no food outside. The outside cat is fed in the garage and the door is always closed at night. So there is no reason for anything to come close to the house. The back yard is fenced now since the attack on the dachshund. Well anyway, we need to hunt a coyote. Or two.
These are the new hens I got this last spring. Five were New Hampshire Reds, and two were Buff Orpingtons. The white hen is one of the old hens. She is a California White. She wound up mothering these chicks instead of Buff. Only because she was broody. For a looooong time. We haven’t got a rooster, so I knew the eggs weren’t going to hatch. I felt sorry for her and left a couple of eggs under her as we collect the eggs every day. (At least when I remember to do it every day.) I figured she would give up after awhile, but no. She stayed on the nest longer than normal. I don’t think she was even eating or drinking. She was looking kind of bad, so I bought the chicks and brought them to her. I wasn’t sure if she would except them or not. She never had anything to do with the chicks in the past except to be mean. But she was ready to be a mother this time. She did a fine job too.
Until next time. Take care and God bless!