The possums have been mercifully absent this winter. The oversized rats are a persistent predator for the chickens and when the temperature plunges my girls don’t stand a chance. Its indescribable how a possum dispatches a chicken, a thing that no one needs to see nor know. But this year, because of the mild weather I suppose, the traps are empty.
Or, so I supposed.
A few days ago, while walking in the woods, a bright, white pile of sticks caught my attention. The sticks were sun-bleached and scattered. Bones. This wasn’t one big animal but lots of smaller ones. Six, as a matter of fact.
We have a coyote problem.
Doug is manic at night hearing the howls. A week or so ago he and the coyote went nose to nose. It was late morning, broad daylight and the coyote stood his ground. Doug charged and finally the coyote dismissively trotted into the woods.
The coyote’s killed at least ten chickens. There are tiny orange and white feathers fluttering across the fields. My chicken sitter called one afternoon. “Oh my God,” she said. “He has one in his mouth and is just watching me.”
He’s brazen. His scat is on a pathway next to the house and now he’s stockpiling his kills in the back field. After finding the bones, I Googled ‘coyote bone pile’. Turns out bone piles can often be found close to a den. I quit trying to learn anything more.
The six possum skulls lay on my kitchen counter for a couple of days as I pondered the coyote’s movements. All of this is both fascinating and creepy to me. Truthfully, I have no more affinity for possum than before but right now I’d take a possum attack on the girls any day over the coyote.
I’ll keep you posted and, as always, thanks for stopping by!