A Narrow Escape

Here’s my rooster, Monty (named for Montgomery Clift, because as a young cockerel he was slim, tall, dark, and handsome) back in February. Someday I’ll have to write a history of my roosters, but for now suffice it to say that last fall I drove an hour to pick up Monty from a farm in Mooers Forks. He took over my small flock of four hens with adolescent enthusiasm. His own harem! Sex at every opportunity!

Monty struts with self-importance and crows all day long. “Shut up!” I hear the builders yell good-naturedly in reply.

For the last three days I have been very busy with guests and struggling to put things together in the house. (Where could the cross bars of the bed frame be?) Yesterday at around 2 PM I was sweating over bookcase pieces in the living room when the dogs suddenly leapt up barking.

I ran to the window and saw nothing. The dogs stared out the glass patio doors for a moment but eventually went back to sleep.

An hour later I took them for a walk and to my sorrow found dozens of black and green iridescent feathers littering the ground in front of the barn. I felt sick. The feathers were unmistakably Monty’s. That coyote has killed my rooster ten feet in front of the barn in broad daylight!

I walked the dogs feeling sad and savage. My mind churned.

However, this time I received my miracle. At chore time, there was Monty in the barn! He looked shell-shocked, huddled with his four hens. He also had only two scraggly feathers left in his tail. But he was alive.

I have to come up with a good solution for this problem. I don’t want to shoot the coyote (I don’t own a .22 anyway). He or she is just trying to make a living. However I need to keep my creatures safe from predators. Thank you, God, for this momentary reprieve.

Today I am supposed to be on the road all day. It is pouring rain. I may leave the geese and chickens in the barn while I am gone.

 

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6 Responses to A Narrow Escape

  1. Ned says:

    You might be able to find a large box trap. They are made in sizes to catch coyotes. Then it could be relocated. I bought one from Tractor Supply. It has a internal cage where you can put live bait in. I have used live chickens and caught raccoons that were killing my birds. I’ve never caught a coyote in it. I think they might be too smart.

    I know you don’t want to kill the coyote but if it stays around it will keep coming back until you don’t have any birds left to feed on. Then it may turn to your sheep. It needs to go one way or another. A good livestock guard dog would keep it away.

    I hope you can come up with a solution.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Yes, I know I need to do something. I’ve just been so busy I haven’t been able to think what to do. My brain feels like cold pudding these days! But thank you, Ned!

  2. Elaine Murphy says:

    How about getting an air rifle or b b gun…just to scare the coyote

  3. RHB says:

    ….now I ask you……if someone was breaking into your house would YOU do everything within your power to protect your daughter and/or husband…….I think you know the answer……SO I SAY GET A RIFLE (I would suggest something larger than a 22)…..DON’T PUT IT OFF ANY LONGER or just live with the “BAD” consequences.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Yes, while I don’t think of my chickens and geese as quite on the same level as my husband or children, I do feel very responsible for both sets of loved ones and I am racking my brains. Thank you!

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