Lady Cluck, our favourite hen, survived the attack.
Last night as we were watching a movie at about 11:00 p.m., we heard terrified chicken-shrieks outside. My husband threw his size 11 (men's) feet into my mom's size 8 (ladies') Crocs, grabbed the axe, and tore outside. I followed in my red plaid rubber boots, and an apron that I hadn't removed after dinner, wondering what he planned to do with the axe...chop up a raccoon?
Because our children dismantle/wear out the batteries of every flashlight that crosses the threshold, we had to rely on the motion-sensitive porch light to guide us. We saw loads of reddish feathers at the barn door, then saw that the door of the coop had blown shut which meant that the hens weren't able to get into it at dusk.
We quickly found several hens, who seemed to instinctively stay very still, pressing their bodies as close to the ground as possible. We were still short a few, plus the roosters, so continued wandering around our small farm in search of the traumatized birds. Chickens are just so darn vulnerable.
The young rooster (Big Boy) was up by the firepit. I didn't know how fast roosters can run until last night. They run REALLY fast. His instinct was to lure us AWAY from the coop, so try as we might, we couldn't corral him towards a place of safety.
Such a handsome devil, isn't he?
I don't suppose it helped that my husband was chasing him, axe in hand, loudly cursing the hen that laid him. I knew I shouldn't be laughing at this dramatic moment, but I couldn't help myself. Just when we'd creep up to the rooster, he'd tear off in a crazy zigzag. At one point, Big Boy disappeared into the chest-high grass around our pond...imagine my long-legged husband, high-stepping through the foliage, trying to track the intermittent waving and rustling that traced our fugitive's cunning path...
We finally gave up on the roosters, trusting them to fend for themselves for the night.
The "boys" alerted us that they had survived the night with a 5:30 a.m. crowing contest loud enough to wake the dead. So, out I went in my nightgown and rubber boots, and tried to chase the bugger into the coop. I managed to entice "The Boss" with some kitchen scraps, but Big Boy was having none of it. I went back to bed, closed the windows and turned the fan up a notch, praying that my neighbours wouldn't complain...
It looks like we're down three hens, although we haven't found any corpses. Lesson learned: no more leaving the lock up till after dusk.
PS...I've never considered myself a violent person. But if I had had a gun last night, I would have shot that predator if we'd seen him. Alas, if I had a gun, my roosters, too, would now be dead, shot in mid-crow.