I forgot to coup the chickens last night.
After the original escape attempts by the blondies fiasco, I had to coup the chickens for a few weeks before sundown, just to teach them where they were going to sleep. They got used to it, and life went back to normal. Meaning that we let the chickens decide when they want to wake up and go to sleep. It makes life easier for me. But a few days ago, the husband got home, checked in on the coup and NONE of the girls were there. We panicked! But after a few seconds we found most of them right by one of the trees, the blondies on the fence, and Donna by the holy basil, her favorite spot. We couldn’t figure it out. We kept wondering why wouldn’t they go to the warm coup, specially since it’s been chilly down here. We figured a cat might have scared them.
Our chicken coup is a two story structure, eight feet long, four feet wide. Sitting between the house and the fence, there’s a slim path between the fence and the coup, to walk to the back. There’s four ways to get inside, the ‘pallet’ door at the back, the small downstairs door for the girls to go in and out on the front, the pull up door to grab the eggs, and the side panel. The side panel and the ‘pallet’ doors always remain close, except for cleaning the coup. The small front door is only for the girls so that normally stays open. It’s about four feet tall at the lower end, and almost six feet tall, at the tallest end. It’s big enough that if the girls can’t come out because of inclement weather, they have plenty of room. To get upstairs, there’s a draw bridge that’s always in the down position. The upstairs is where the girls sleep and lay eggs, it’s comfortable, warm in the winter and we have a fan for the summer.
Last night we found out it wasn’t a cat.
The husband got the flu. First the kid, then the husband. Somehow it managed to skip me. But the husband has been ran down and taking medication. With the mother in law in town, we wanted to hang out with her and do activities with the kid, so there was really little down time. Then last Saturday we went out with friends, since we had a baby sitter. We crashed a birthday party. Then we went to a wine tasting fallowed by dinner at a great restaurant. Normally, the husband and I don’t really like trying new restaurants, cause we are always so disappointed at the food and regret spending that cash. But this place was very delicious! We had a great time! We accidentally stayed out until past 3am… and since nothing good happens after 2am, I’ll leave most of the evening out of the post, but you get the picture. Well, of course that was a bad idea, and by Sunday the husband wasn’t feeling any better.
Last night was my first night back at Improv, and the Mother in law’s last night here.
I left the kid with her, went to class, and the three of them had dinner. By the time I got home it was past 9pm. The husband was already in bed, the kid was waiting for her kiss and I wanted a glass of wine just to decompress. We were asleep within the hour.
“You forgot to coup the chickens!” Screamed the husband jumping out of bed and running out side.
“What?! What?! What did I do?!” I asked sitting straight up
“The girls! Something has the girls!” He said running out of the house!
I grabbed the first shoes I could find, (the husband’s left clog and his left flip flop!) then somehow managed to run after him, just to find him on his hands and knees,
“What is happening?!” I asked
“I think Donna is dead! It’s a possum! A G-D f****** possum!” He answered.
“Did you lock the girls upstairs?”
“The draw bridge is up, but that thing is still downstairs!” He said walking to the back of the coup. The possum climbed up to the roof. At this point it didn’t have any where else to go.
“I’m gonna killed that little shit!” The husband said
“It got a chicken! If I let it go it’s gonna come back for the rest!”
“Ok! Let’s catch it!” I said.
I grabbed the dog carrier, closed all the zippers and went inside for bait. The idea was to slice it’s throat, or drown it. So before anybody get’s their panties all in a bunch, we live in a FARM! Possums are rodents, and when one is removed another one takes it’s place. I also live in a city, and my very crazy (and really sweet) neighbor across the street threats them like babies! That’s right, I have a neighbor that not only feeds and fixes the cats, he feeds the possums and raccoons! We have over six hundred square feet of raised beds, and because we’re organic, and want to keep our certification, we don’t put any poison down for anything! Therefor, we have to physically defend our chickens!
Also, unless you’re actively helping animals, or giving money to animal organizations, on an every day basis, then you really don’t have a leg to stand on. We all have our causes that we defend. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan that wears leather, shut it! If you’re a vegan that wears leather and shops at Walmart, then you really need to STFU! You pretentious hypocrite!
The girls were upstairs, but having a panic attack. I counted them and we were missing one. At this the husband says
“The body is gone! And it wasn’t Donna, it had to be Marlene, but the body is gone! What tha’ hell it’s happening?!”
We looked at Donna’s favorite hiding spot and there she was! Then Marlene started caw-cawing on the first floor and the possum was still on the roof. We realized that the possum hadn’t killed any of them, and was there just for the eggs. It’s probably been stealing a few here and there and we just hadn’t notice. We put both of them on the second floor and went after the possum.
The husband didn’t killed the possum. But he did whacked it. Twice. Just for good measure. It ran from the roof to the fence and up a tree. Then I grabbed a piece of wood. Eyed it to make sure it was big enough, then drilled it on the one and only hole that anything could fit through.
After we were done, with the adrenaline still running, both of us went back inside, took a shot of night time flu medication (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!) and tried to go back to sleep… It wasn’t 11pm yet!Tags: chickens, cold, coup, eggs, florida, flu, Husband, in laws, middle of the night, possums, raccoons, small house