On nature, tooth and claw

sad_henSad Ruby on Friday

I have a bit of an update on Ruby and her eggs.

Early Friday morning, I exited the house on critter chore duty and I was greeted by the sweetest sound.  “Goodness,” I thought, “Earl has learned to imitate Ruby and her sweet coo,” when actually it was our Ruby that I was hearing…and seeing!  How in the world…?  What happened?  Why is she out and about, why is she not sitting on her eggs?

She couldn’t have gotten out on her own, and I was right.  Apparently, a raccoon got into the brood chamber and attacked her, and eaten all her eggs.  We were all so sad, but not as sad as Ruby herself.

She’s safe now, back on a bunch of (dummy) chicken eggs, and I have thrown the Chicken Tractor over her nesting chamber, so now she’s doubly (triply, counting the new fence) secure.

But that particular raccoon won’t be bothering her again.

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Mean omnivorous bastard.  Our daughter wanted to make a coonskin cap out of him.

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15 responses to “On nature, tooth and claw

  1. Poor Ruby! Now you’ll never know whether some of those eggs might have hatched. What are you going to do with the raccoon? They are indeed mean!

  2. I don’t agree with the mean, but I’m right there with you on the immediately dispatched.

  3. That didn’t make any sense how I wrote it. What I meant was- I don’t think eating poultry makes raccoons mean, but the knowlege that it’s natural would not save a raccoon that attacked my peeps.
    Sorry about your potential peeps, and I hope Ruby is okay.

  4. Ugh! So sorry friend. xoxox

  5. Sorry that this happened to Rubby and you guys. We had a similar happening last summer, only the racoon killed all 8 turkey poults and almost killed, Sandy, our Narraganset hen.

    Our neighbor trapped a HUGE boar, weighed almost 40# and we never had this problem again.

    Sandy was in a chicken tractor, and the coon peel the wire back like a can opener.

    Sorry for your loss!

  6. You know, in some parts of this country people EAT raccoons. I’m just sayin’… 🙂

  7. We have fought those creatures, and skunks!!! DARN predators! And ground birds, setting on nests, without or with protection are thier favorite food. Easy pickn’s

    Sorry for you and for Ruby! SORRY!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

  8. I know in my heart that raccoons also have their place, but when they kill and pillage and make senseless messes, it is very hard to remember that.

    Good for you that you got him!

  9. Aww. Darn it. I’m sorry.
    We are battling the raccoons around here too.
    Before we knew it they had attacked and eaten six of our hens.

    Now our hens are safe, but I still catch the raccoons skulking around…..and I’m telling you these are freaky giant raccoons. Lol. Seriously 😦

    I have a hawk that just keeps circling above too.
    Thank goodness my ladies have lots of trees, brush, and this and that to hide under.

  10. Ouch! Was Ruby unmolested, I hope…

  11. It’s a good thing your laying hens don’t feel the same way about human omnivores…

    El, I’m getting tired of looking at these boxes. I need an address!

  12. As owners of triply protected chickens (geese alarm, electrified poultry netting, and livestock guardian dogs), I commend your new security efforts, and offer consolation for Ruby’s egg demise.

  13. Kate, yeah, my daughter thought making the coon-skin cap was in completely in my skill set, and my husband had to laugh because sure, I probably could tan the hide and he could sew it up. But no.

    Pamela somehow I knew what you meant the first time. I did make a post a while back about how I think it’s really important to provide for one’s animals’ health, safety and welfare…and safety does require removing predatory threats. My experience of the damned creatures is that once they get a taste, they keep coming back, so in I must step with my trusty Daisy. Especially since poor Ruby got some scratches out of the deal.

    Thanks, Angie! Back she sits on 3 of her own eggs plus now 2 goose eggs and about 8 chicken/guinea eggs. She’s quite the happy girl now.

    Thanks, Kelle. I feel bad about your poults! Poor babies. Yes they are quite determined..and so am I. Glad your neighbor took care of things.

    Laurene, hah! There was a lot of fat on that bugger too (at least the cage was really heavy, not that I checked on his B.M.I. or anything).

    Linda, live and learn, right? She’s quite safe now. Skunks, huh? No skunks here or at least not near enough to qualify as a problem.

    Christy, yeah, I think they fit in well, and frankly they’re welcome to the eggs that the idiot guineas poop out on the run but when they go and attack poor sitting critters then sorry it’s time to go.

    Ooo! Amy! Get one of those Havaheart traps; they work really well, especially if you bait them with eggs. Or cat food. They won’t stop if they see your place as a restaurant destination where the chicken is good!

    Sylvie, she lost some feathers and has a scratch or two but I think the bugger just wanted her eggs.

    Oh yes Marcie and that’s why we don’t eat them! OH GOSH (gives hyperventilating pant) I will have Tom email you on the details…swamped here as is usual.

    Thanks, D.A. It’s a part of the program, you know? 🙂

  14. so you had a trap set up for the intruder?

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