Darwin Awards Contestant

3 Jun

Last night I took my shot at becoming a winner of the Darwin Award.  Although, I knew I was being stupid at the time, so that might have disqualified me from the start.  Let me tell you the lead up to the event.  If you remember, I was losing chickens, so I was trapping predators.  All was going well.  In fact, I had just bragged to my mom that I hadn’t lost any more chickens since I quit trapping.  That was my mistake.

All three nasty roosters are still okay.

About two days later, I noticed something had dug under the pen to my chicken’s yard, and my little broody hen was gone.   My pen is so old and in such bad shape I don’t even know how to fix it.  I don’t think it can be, but I tried hobbling it.

When I went out to check goats in the middle of the night, I found a raccoon in the pen with a chicken.  It had already killed a second one.

Vinnie

The next night, my repair work was holding, or else, I scared it off when I went out to check goats because I did see one by the pen, but it hadn’t gotten in.

Cookie

The next evening (last night), when I was taking Helen her meds, I noticed a raccoon sleeping in the hollow tree trunk, so I called my dad to come shoot it.  We weren’t happy with how it was curled up.  He prefers a quick head shot, but we couldn’t see its head.  We figured he’d shoot it in the butt and make it really mad, but it never moved–it was already dead.  I hope it choked on a chicken bone.

Kizzy’s kids from several years ago (much cuter than a dead raccoon)

Last night, when I did my bedtime check of goats, I already had a raccoon in the trap, but I figured my dad was asleep, so I left it for morning.  When I went out at 3:30 this morning to check goats, I noticed the geese were all out in the pen huddled in a corner.  I went in and found another dead chicken–my sweet little red hen that was always in my corn when I fed goats.  When I went into the building, I saw the coon ambling up the wall and hiding in the rafters.  I opened the back door and yelled at it, but it wasn’t moving.  I used a food pan and Frisbee tossed it at the thing.  It didn’t budge even though I bounced the food pan off of it several times.

I went for something with more substance–rocks and bricks.  That made it mad, but it still wasn’t going to move.

I was not about to let it stay in there and kill more chickens or my peacocks and geese.  I finally went for a big fence post and javelin threw it at the raccoon.  Unfortunately, I woofed the first toss and ended up sticking it into my hand.  I kept at it, and I did get pretty good, but no matter how many times I hit it with the fence post it stayed there.  That’s when I decided to go all Darwin Award Contestant on the raccoon.  Instead of throwing the post at the raccoon, I poked at it, trying to shove it down.  Let me tell you, raccoons are not made for jumping, but when they launch their lead balloon bodies with full force, it falls with all teeth and claws and looks really scary.

a survivor

I made it out of the way; although I caught myself on a saw horse and sprained my wrist on the hand I didn’t shove the post into.  The raccoon took off out the brand new hole it had just dug under the pen.  I hope it hurts really badly today after the beating it took last night.  Since I didn’t kill myself in this stupid episode, I am not even a runner up for the Darwin Awards.

I decided the only thing I could do was get a functional door to try and shut the birds in the building at night and hopefully keep raccoons out. Bless my dad because I called him and he came through!  We spent the afternoon replacing a couple of boards and adjusting it so it would actually close, and I can shut the remaining birds in tonight.

I already let the geese out of the pen.  I don’t think I could get them to go in at night.  They hate staying inside.  I figure they stand a better chance in the barnyard with the two llamas spending more time up here, and hopefully, the coyotes will stay away now.

I am launching an all out war on the raccoons because they are not cute.  They are brutal, filthy killers, and they are some of the worst for spreading rabies. Ask my sister who had to have rabies shots if you don’t believe me.

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15 Responses to “Darwin Awards Contestant”

  1. hedgewitch June 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    I totally agree–raccoons are nasty, and will turn on you viciously. I was feeding some in a state park once, and they gang rushed me for a bag of marshmallows–if I hadn’t let go and run into the car and slammed the door, they would have drawn blood. I really feel for you Teresa, losing all those hens, not to mention having such a one on one fight–scary! I hope you make some progress in getting rid of them.

  2. coalblack June 3, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

    This is awful! Your poor birds.(and you!)

  3. pattisj June 3, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    Sorry to hear you’ve lost more chickens. At least now you know the enemy you’re fighting.
    I had to laugh a couple posts ago when you said Sky’s gardening skills ranked him right up there with the goats! LOL

  4. janicead June 3, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    Girlfriend, you do have so many adventures.

  5. CJ June 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

    I feel for ya! We don’t have raccoons up here -but we fight with the minks. People think they are so are cute -but there is nothing cute about losing chickens! Hope you win your battle!!

  6. Jim June 3, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    I hate it that you were losing birds. I think we had only coyotes at our Nebraska farm. In Friendswood (Texas, south of Houston) we had a few raccoons dig a hole in our house roof. They also would eat our cat’s food. When in the roof I would trap them and then haul them away to a sanctuary. We always called ‘him’ Rocky even though it wouldn’t be the same coon. Putting an asphalt roof stopped them. We also had
    Down here at Katy/Fulshear, west of Houston we have alligators and rabbits. The gators eat dogs. We aren’t allowed to kill them but animal control will remove them if they get mean or won’t leave.
    Lastly your dad is super with and for you.
    ..

    • Jim June 3, 2017 at 9:16 pm #

      Best wishes for getting a Darwin Award.
      ..

      • Teresa June 3, 2017 at 9:17 pm #

        You have to die stupidly to get a Darwin Award, so it’s best not to actully get one. 😉

  7. Margaret June 4, 2017 at 1:34 am #

    Wow well that was some post today. I feel so sorry for all the chickens you have lost. Those Racoons are a nasty piece of work but please stay safe, better to loose a chicken than get rabies or a big injury Teresa.

  8. bagheeracr June 4, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    Are you allowed electro-net where you are? The hotwire lines don’t do much since raccoons just go around/over/under, but electro-net works well.

    I’ve also had decent luck with some of the commercial critter repellents, and wolf poop (we have a woof and wolf/dog hybrid rescue here that lets you take as much as you want. :-/) . Some zoos sell exotic critter poop for the same reason.

    • Teresa June 4, 2017 at 9:33 am #

      Having the door fixed should work. I am still trapping.

  9. Patty B June 4, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    Sorry to hear what happened but glad you are ok.

  10. Jeanne June 4, 2017 at 11:22 pm #

    Teresa, I’m so sorry about the loss of all those chickens. Darned ‘coons! We used to have them here in town, but haven’t seen any for quite a few years. I heard a cat fighting one night and next morning the cat was dead. I always figured it was a ‘coon that killed it. It was a horrible sound. I hope you’ve seen the end of this!

  11. scotiaspinner June 10, 2017 at 7:07 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your hens – that is horrible. I had real troubles with raccoons in Iowa also. The one on my bird feeder will likely also be a problem when I have hens. Then it won’t be at all cute. But I have to admit, you did make me giggle with your story because it made me remember poking a raccoon in my barn rafters with a rake. Not very effective…

    • Teresa June 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

      Glad I’m not the only one!

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