The raccoon has proven smarter than Mr. Fuzzy. Despite a detailed "buttoning up" of the coop, yet another hen was killed. A good neighbor with fine eye sight and hunting experience was called in. He found one potential point of entry which Mr. Fuzzy immediately occluded with wood and screws. It is unclear whether it worked because at 5:00 a.m. this morning, one of the two old hens who sleep on the porch was attacked, presumably by the raccoon. It took less than 45 seconds to grab a pistol and flashlight and fly down the stairs. By the time the patio door was flung open, only one very traumatized hen remained. A few loose breast feathers from the other girl were strewn about; no victim or villain in sight (or found in the light of day later). The raccoon had killed on the patio, right against the house wall, with a solar light brightly gleaming 15 feet away.
Today, what time was not spent in struggling with overdue 2012 taxes was spent modifying the coop. It is composed of two sections: the original, made perhaps twenty years ago as a goat shed, cobbled together into a coop with salvaged bits, and the "new wing" which was commercially designed as a cheap greenhouse. Mr. Fuzzy believes the greenhouse is less likely to have a non-obvious flaw allowing surreptitious entry and thus he partitioned the coop into its two components.The wooden section now is devoid of chickens - all were gathered up after roosting and transferred into the greenhouse tonight in the hope they are safe therein. A Hav-a-heart trap resides in the old section and the game camera is trained on it as well.
Neighbor George notes another neighbor has killed a number of raccoons raiding their chicken coop.
Needless to say, both chickens and Mr. Fuzzy are very discouraged.
Perhaps this is the first post in over 500 that is sans illustrations. Apologies to the readers but nothing other than chicken corpses seemed appropriate to this post and that was just too grim.
Mr. Fuzzy must now return to the IRS forms. Oh joy all around.