Monday, January 2, 2012
Squirrel Tale: Evidence of a Killing Field
This squirrel tail was on the bottom step at the side door. I am perplexed. Was it a cat or raccoon? Raccoons are out mostly at night; squirrels are not. Cats are out all hours of day and night; Squirrels are only out in the day.
If this were a raccoon that did the killing, it would have struck after daylight or at least as soon as squirrels are out and about. That is a great possibility, considering my past experience of losing a hen and then a squirrel that was in the live trap. (Only the head was left in the live trap.) However, I saw a cat trying to get one of my hens.
Last Wednesday, all three of the hens were sounding a predator alarm. I ran to the door and screamed at the cat that was trying to get Thelma where she stood against the door, calling out to me for all she was worth! I screamed in a loud, coarse, boomingest voice I could manage and the cat ran away. I am continually amazed that my hens are so smart. Thelma actually ran to the door to either get in or get me out to help. My throat hurt the rest of the day from the exertion of trying to really frighten the cat. I digress....
At first the squirrel tail was all I saw when I went out. Then, I noticed that skin from the behind was still attached. Then, I noticed shreds of skin. You can see the shreds to the right of the tail and above, too.
This strikes terror into my heart. I don't know if the hens' pen is really secure. Each morning I check to see if there is any evidence of a breach of security, evidence of tampering by a raccoon. Not losing hens is not evidence the cage works against raccoons. Losing a hen will provide evidence that the cage is not secure.
Do you go through this kind of agony with any of your livestock? Well, maybe your pets are in continual danger. I don't know. Do you think this kind of damage was done by a raccoon or a cat? There is no evidence that I can find to tell me if there is more of the carcass? Help!