Finally worked it out. Bastages. Chickens will hide, cower, cover themselves in a far corner or hole as far as possible from intruding hands, bodies, heads, what have you.So will baby chicks; it's instinctive. There is a point, however, in a baby chick's life when it learns that the opening of the door, no matter what time of day or night I suppose, means either food, or play or something. It's positively Pavlovian.They will come forward, or at least one or two of them will, to check it out.
Raccoon paws and little wristlettes are tiny. So are baby birds. Well, birds can be made to be tiny because you can pull them, squash them and contort them through very small spaces often before they know what's happened to them and then bite their heads off before they get a single peep out.
The door doesn't open very far. It's chained to the sides of the coop. Another week of growth and there's just no way in hell. Actually I suppose you might consider it some sort of natural selection, cull the runts for me maybe (except the runts are good hiders). Here is how we know for sure. Last night there was a hell of a ruckus. The dog and I went on a raccoon hunt because we heard the screaming and also a bit of squabbling because there may be two and they may have been on top of the hutch fighting over the dark unknown chick because there are just too many feathers (he should have been eaten nicely in three or four big bites, feathers and all). This morning I found two things. The first was the mangled corpse of a bird too big to pull through the small opening. The second was a missing Vegas bird.
The first thing I thought when I saw the mangled body (even though I knew perfectly well we were on a raccoon hunt because I HeARD them) was WEASELS, I've got EFFING WEASLES DAMMIT! Nope, weasels don't mangle, I believe they just suck them dry and leave.
OK, gotta fix that tonight and DAMN, we'd just named two of the Vegas chicks too. One has officially been named Vegas (so I'm going to have to stop calling them that collectively) because she now clearly shows the dominant poof at the top of her head. The girls have been calling her Rockin-it. We've named one other also, the girls have been calling her 'Not-so-much' for what ought to be obvious reasons. I'm afraid we lost 'Not-so-much' last night. Probably in two bites. The question is what had one of the White Polish finally decide to venture toward the opening? It's not that they're smarter than the rest; that's a fact. They are clearly more instinctive in a lot of ways even though they've been inbred as all get out. Maybe that's the last thing left to them.
Time to make the donuts. Little Girl doesn't know yet but she's going to figure it out. Maybe not today because her father is supposed to pick her up and take her to Mystic. She's cranky and tired this morning. I let her stay up until 10 reading in bed with me.
I'm cranky (OK, not really cranky) and tired because Simon and I had two rounds in the yard last night. I was going to leave him out there with the door open just enough so he could come in if he wanted (I'm fairly comfortable they won't get by him into the house) except that by the time they escaped to the neighbor's yard where he can't pass the fencing he stood on the upper screen porch and proceeded to bark his fool head off non stop. I had to bring him in.
If I'd had to talk to animal control at 5 AM I'd have thrown myself over the balcony. As it is I expect a phone call even though he only barked non stop for about six minutes. I timed it. But there was the on and off.
Sigh. It's his job dammit.