Posted on January 24, 2014
Tales from the Dark Side (of the chicken coop) -Miller Farm Friday
A guest blog by Beekeeper Brian
Warning: The following story is a true account; only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
It also contains tales of death. If death of vermin upsets you, STOP reading now!
On Monday nights, Chicken Wrangler Sara teaches ladies about God’s Word. Therefore, I pull double farm duty.
Since my bees are snug in their hives, they are not a duty problem.
As you might remember, the chickens go into the coop when the sun goes down every night. However, a chicken wrangler or beekeeper has to go close the door to the coop. We haven’t been able to teach the girls to take care of that.
I went out to keep them safe and close the coop.
You would not believe that living in the city, we would have all kinds of uninvited dinner guest. Word should be out that there are no more dinner parties on the Miller Farm.
Yet, as I drew close to the coop door, I spotted the glowing eyes of an uninvited dinner guest—the chicken eating opossum! This was the fourth opossum this winter that planned to have chicken as his main course!
In case you have never tangled with an opossum, once they find fresh food, they keep coming back for seconds.
Since Chicken Wrangler Sara was not at home to bring me a lead slinger (air-powered since we are in the city), I had to grab what was at hand – my flashlight.
Unfortunately, I only had the small one.
Fortunately, there is a nice rock right outside the coop, which would do the trick. Several hits later, the chicken thief was unaffected!
I needed to find something else. (Don’t be fooled. Opossums play dead, but they do have a very strong tail, which can be used to carry them some place to secure a bigger club.)
I grabbed his tail and hauled him out of the coop, heading for the woodpile. I grabbed half of a wooden bee pallet to use as a club. That was a little more effective at subduing him, but the rascal was still sniffing for chicken dinner.
I spotted a shovel blade by the shed and carried him to the other side of the yard to finish the deed with the shovel blade. It was crude but effective.
The hens were safe for another night, none the wiser that there’d been an intruder intend on eating them.
I posted on FB: opossums 0, Beekeeper Brian 4.
When Chicken Wrangler Sara arrived home, I told her of the evening adventure. All in a day’s work on an urban farm.