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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.

Your turn
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!


  1. my barn cats get into the chicken pen all the time and nest on the chicken's eggs, but never eat them. Thank goodness. We lost our Pyrenees last month (It's normal for someone to come steal dogs for resale out here) and we worry about coyotes, but the goats all have horns, so it's something to worry about.

    Animal check in the morning is always a worry for me. But so is life, so I try not to stress it.

  2. Hmm....I'd say that a raccoon wouldn't of left so much behind and I don't think a cat would have unless frightened away. Therefor (and I know how crazy this may sound to you so please forgive me for that), I suspect a human-not that a human did the killing but that a human left it there for you.

    I say this because my daughters work recently had something crazy like that happen at their doorstep that had to do with goats hair.

    Could somebody be playing a dirty joke on you? Do you use that door most often?
    If not, don't sweat it. But you know, everybody does know you love your hens. Making you worry like this could be the point.

  3. Mudbug,
    These cats and chickens don't know each other. I can only imagine that the cat is overjoyed at find one of the elusive birds so close and so big.

    Actually, there is only skin and tail left. This is the only door I use. It was off to one side of the wide steps, so it was hard to see. Anyone wanting to annoy me would have made it more visible. I heard noises out there again last night. Something is rambling around. I doubt it is human. Maybe it is the


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