Predator Alert!

I love my chickens.  Anyone who knows me knows I love my chickens.  I have nursed one chicken back from death’s door and seen her go from a crippled, barely able to feed herself chicken, to a fully recovered, scratching, pecking, running, happy chicken.

Each of my chickens has a name and her own personality.  I can’t imagine anything happening to any of them.

Today I saw a striped cat on our front porch.  The dogs have been having fits the past few days and I thought it was just the squirrels that were driving them crazy.  One night last week I was outside at night and saw something slink away by our driveway.  I wasn’t sure what it was at the time, but now I know.

I heard Freedom throwing a fuss in the garden this evening.  Yes, I know it was Freedom.  I recognize each chicken’s clucking.   I thought maybe she had laid an egg, but when I went out to look, Freedom was gathering all the hens in one place chuttering up a storm. Freedom has designated herself as the watch chicken.  I know that because she does a walk about the chicken yard each night to be sure everyone is in the coop. She had all the chickens gathered together and was squawking.  Then I saw it.  The cat. Sitting on the fence overlooking the garden.  Watching my hens.  Tail switching.  I ran over and yelled at it and banged on the fence.  I have a feeling it will be back.

Later, I took a flashlight out and scoured the area.  The girls were already shut up tight and safely in their coop.  They have no idea what is out there waiting to tear them limb from limb.  I will have to keep vigilant.  I am telling the dogs to “sic” the bad cat.  All you cat lovers, I love cats too, but not when they are stalking my chickens.  Bonnie and Belle have been put on cat watch.  I will have to check the chooks more often now.

Maybe I will have to fit the chickens with vests and helmets to protect them from predators.  This will not end well for the cat should it kill one of my girls.  I’m thinking a trap set up to catch it might be on my list of things to buy.

If you have any suggestions about how to keep cats away from chickens, I would love to hear them.  Bye.

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