Isn't that raccoon cute? Sure, they're downright adorable . . . until you find one trying to eat your poor chickens in the middle of the night, as one of these little blighters did. At 3:00 a.m. we were woken by the sound of the chickens doing the chicken version of panicked screaming. We ran outside to find a raccoon with a mouthful of feathers. It took off over the fence, leaving us freaking out in our jammies. We thought Lucy had been killed, but it seems like she was just playing dead or in shock (or both). Ethel was shocked, as well, but they both appear to be otherwise unharmed. I can't blame the raccoon; it's just doing what raccoons do. Upsetting for all concerned, to say the least.
I think in addition to running for their lives, the fact that both chickens are moulting--that is, losing all their feathers and growing nice, new ones--saved their lives. Judging by the clumps of feathers all over the yard, every time the raccoon got a hold on one of them, their feathers just came right out, leaving our little thief holding nothing but pillow stuffing. Well timed, my feathered friends, well timed indeed.
Needless to say, we fortified the chicken run and are now locking the girls in at night. They're not thrilled but they're also not straying from the coop as much as they used to. It's always an adventure in the backyard! Luckily, this adventure turned out okay.