Murder in the Chook House

I am going to tell you a gruesome tale. But not quite yet. Nice story first.

Your Kitty has been named. Her name is Mary’s Cat.  We know a little more of her story now after talking to the neighbours. So a few days ago this fellow and his wife were working on their house over a mile away as the crow flies,  and this wee bundle of misty fur wobbled up their drive and presented itself at their feet. They were leaving for Texas in a few hours  (they will be away for two weeks) so they gave it a bit of their lunch and then went back to shutting everything up and could not find it again.  So they left. 

This was the afternoon of the hottest day this year. To get from their house to ours Mary’s Cat must have walked down this road, then  turned the corner and walked half a mile down another road and then all the way down our lane.  (A total of well over a mile)  Or it walked through two 40 acre corn fields. Which ever way you look at it this tiny cat who sleeps  stretched out on my hand walked a terribly  long way in one night on those tiny little paws. Its legs are about four inches long.  In the middle of a heatwave.  Do you think cats have angels?

So I guess it is no wonder that it has ruined feet, messy lungs, no voice left and just sleeps all day long. But today it walked with only a little limp, actually walked across the verandah and sat like a proper cat, without laying its head flat on the ground.  It is a strange silent watchful cat, Mary’s Cat. So as soon as it is quicker on its feet we will let it join the barnyard.  Yes, I will keep it.

Now for the breaking news.  Do not read this to your children.

Last night I was in the chook house gathering the eggs. I croon a lot in the chook house to the chickens because often I have to lift them gently off the eggs, and set them on the ground so that I can steal all the eggs they are sat upon.  We have to be calm during this exercise because they do not want me to have their eggs at all. And mishandling a layer can cause problems internally so I am gentle.  All the other  chickens were puddling about, looking sweet and fat, and clucking around scratching in the dirt.  Doing what they do. So I am leaning over this fat chook  in the nesting box lifting it out with two hands telling it gently, now no pecking me,  it’s OK. When I hear this absolute ruckus behind me.  This terrible escalating whirlwind of sound.

I turn and see all the hens in the chook house in a tight circle attacking something they have on the ground,  hens all pecking and ripping and shrieking at something I cannot see for the hysteria.   Dust was flying, feathers and claws flying. The noise and frenzy was straight from a horror movie. I can only describe it as hackling and reeking and shrawking.  And loud!.   They had caught a pigeon stealing their food  –  the pigeon did not have a chance, it was killed very fast  and very bloodily with no hesitation, by a gang of sweet fat chickens! Who I treat so GENTLY!

I have to say that I got such a fright that  I dropped the wriggling  chicken I was holding, grabbed my bowl of  eggs and RAN out of the henhouse at top speed. Slammed the door and latched it firmly. Then rushed  back to the house.

Now I know that I am developing a wee barnyard thing here. And I have to be OK with a little survival of the fittest.  But THAT was just NOT NICE BEHAVIOUR!

Here is a nice picture of a weed to take our minds off it.  The only thing I can find this afternoon is a weed! Everything else is sleeping in some shady hollow.

Hope you don’t get nightmares!.  We will be fencing this weekend. Joy!

c

8 Comments on “Murder in the Chook House

  1. Cecilia, I’m so glad you are keeping Mary’s Cat. She is precious! We have two kittens we got for free 5 days after we arrived on our new homestead in June, and they are precious too.
    As to the murder in the hen house, we had that happen last night, but it was another big black snake that got two of our baby chooks. It was the first night we had left the three goslings and 12 ducklings outside, as per your suggestion, and they were very happy about it and having a ball in the chicken yard this morning when I checked on them. When I opened the door to the hen house the chicks streamed out into the yard, It was later after finding the two dead chicks and then the black snake did I think that it must have been an awful experience for the chooks to have observed their chickmates meet their end. Guess I’m still getting used to the cycle of life and the predator-prey relationships here on the farm.
    Diane

    • How are those snakes getting in? Horrible. Go around that hen house with balled up chicken netting and stuff it into every hole you see and nail it over every other hole.. You must be so frustrated. I had something like this once . I had forgotton about it. We thought it was rats, so i put them into a wire dog crate at night.. again little chicks were being dragged through these small holes and disappearing.. in retrospct now i think i might have had a snake too. When your hens are bigger they will attack it esp if you have a rooster but these guys were little. So I went out and bought a roll of chicken wire and wrapped the whole crate in it. Even the door had a coating. It was pretty drastic. But your guys are getting too big for that kind of lock up I would have thought. I felt so sorry for them tho locked up in there, they had a broom handle poked through as a roost. Well feed them heaps and get them nice and big so he won’t bother them anymore. Mercy. Gives me the shudders! Great that you are cooking the little potato cakes, they really are easy. I love them c

  2. We did just that Cecilia, or should I say Jack did. He wired up every open hole, crack, space on the hen house, so hopefully the chicks…(they sure are growing fast!)…will be safe and sound from now on. I’ll keep you posted! Diane

  3. OMG they can be nasty little buggers I guess…. but also protective mamas so I will say that’s why they were being mean lol.

  4. I remember seeing a group of seagulls do something very similar to a pigeon who got a bit too close and cheeky one day in a park near here. Yuck is the cleanest word I can find.
    and I can see why Mary’s cat stayed Celi!

    • He is quite the farm cat this one.. never inside.. if he brings himself inside by mistake he looks surprised and goes immediately back to the door to be let out.. funny wee thing! c

  5. Well, our chooks happily allow pigeons to share their food! Sometimes when we walk past over a dozen pigeons will fly out of the chook house. I dont know how to overcome this. Also we have a carpet snake, we call Charlie, who lives in the chook house and lives on the bush rats, mice etc. However, I have an older chookie, about 6 years old, who is getting frail and who is being stomped on by the others sometimes. Its a jungle out there!! Joy

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