I feel awful. I don’t know whether I feel like crying or throwing up.
The neighborhood raccoon made off with one of our chickens last night. It’s come by before; it even got in the coop once, but the chickens always made enough of a racket that we could chase it off before it killed anything. Last night it was completely silent, and then–out of the blue–my husband heard a death squawk. He said it sounded terrible. (I was asleep; he was up doing taxes, on the computer, which is only about 25 feet from the chicken coop. So they really weren’t making noise before the death squawk, or he would have heard it.)
He woke me up and I ran out just in time to see the raccoon climb up the tree with a white bundle in its mouth. Eventually it ran to the fence and off to destinations unknown.
I felt terrible.
Maybe for farm folks this is par for the course, but we only have six chickens–can’t really have much more than that on our small lot–and the loss of one is heavily felt. Since we have so few, we’ve named them all and come to know their individual personalities. I think the one he got was Leif the Clucky–our speed demon, enthusiastic but fairly intelligent (as chickens go, anyway). Poor Leif.
I feel terrible. Did I already say that? I don’t think I said it enough. I feel awful.
I wish I had a 22 so I could have shot the coon, but (1) the neighbors’ houses are only 40-50 feet away and (2) it’s illegal (!!!) in California to trap or kill a raccoon without a trapper’s license, because they are “fur-bearing animals”. Dumb bureaucratic state–around here, coons are a huge nuisance and no one can do anything about them.