Sunday, July 15, 2007

RIP Skunk

Yesterday we went to the park to meet some friends for a potluck dinner. While we were there, we talked (as we always do) about who has had bear problems. "The Big Cinnamon Bear" that's been a problem around various properties east of town came up for discussion. No, we'd had a smallish black bear, and a larger black one, but not the BCB.

But when we came home, there he was. He had trashed the fencing around our chicken corral and was sitting inside it, merrily feasting on 9 of our hens, including our beloved Skunk. The carnage was awful.

Several other favourites survived -- Toy, Brownie, Minnie and Beluga. But Skunk, the greatest rooster-to-be I ever met, the Pinball Clemens of chickens, with his falcon-like head and brick-red and iridescent black-green plumage, our one-of-a-kind heritage breed Ameraucana cockerel, is no more.

Today the bear was back a couple of times. Chuck gave him one good sting with the air rifle and he took off somewhat reluctantly. The chickens have to have almost arms-length supervision at this point. I had them out for three hours of free-ranging, (which was when the bear showed up) but they are back inside the coop now under lock and key.

Time is of the essence now. I had gradually been smashing up the bits of concrete and digging up the metal posts that riddle the area where the fully-enclosed outdoor chicken run needs to go. Today I spent hours smashing, throwing and digging post holes. Between Chuck and me we got seven of the nine done. Tomorrow we begin construction.

9 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about Skunk. Bears....scary!

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  2. Oh No...what a disheartening thing to come home to. I'm so sorry :(

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  3. Sorry to hear you lost the favorite chicken. Sounded like he had spirit. I hope the bears move on sooner rather than later and find better hunting away from people.

    Your story though, reminds me of years ago, begging my mother to go outside and pet the furry bear that was eating our plums and cherries. For some strange reason, she wouldn't let us. Go figure.

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  4. Oh, I am so, so sorry!

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  5. Oh my goodness! That's awful news. How did the kids take it?

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  6. Oh, that's so heartbreaking! I felt so bad about the one hen I lost a few months ago. I can't imagine 9, including your favorite!

    We're headed off to bear country today--on vacation to Yellowstone and Glacier. I hope we don't have any close encounters! But we're not bringing our chickens. ;-)

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  7. Charlene Markovic7:04 pm

    Awww! That is just so sad!!! :( I bet he was trying to protect the rest of them....

    I am so sorry...

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  8. How awful! I am so sorry...and I loved all the chicken stories you were sharing--we were learning so much. Poor Skunk.

    How did the kids take it?

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  9. Well, the kids are saddened. Almost exclusively about Skunk. The other chickens are just water under the bridge to them as they were nameless and without discernable personality. However, they're resilient, and have latched onto a couple of the others as new favourites. Minnie is getting carried around an awful lot by Fiona.

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