Over the weekend, Annabel was asked to take care of the neighbor's cats and chickens while they were out of town. It does not require a lot, just making sure to let the chickens out in the morning feeding the cats and the chickens, and then closing up the chickens in their coop at night.
We continue to learn with our chickens what they consider to be night though. If it is overcast the chickens have a tendency to go to to their roosts early. But if you go out the backdoor a minute too soon, they are also willing to jump down off their roosts and come check out any special treats you might have brought to them.
So we have learned to wait until it is completely dark to close the coop door.
We guessed it would be the same with the neighbors.
I always try to go with Annabel to put up the neighbor's chickens as it can seem scary to be in someone else's backyard at night.
On Saturday night she had latched the coop and we both had left the chicken pen area and were just closing that gate when we heard a THUD! Then every chicken in the coop starting squawking, LOUDLY!
Annabel looked at me and her eyes were as big as saucers. I looked back at her equally startled. We both froze. I had heard from a friend about her chickens being attacked by a possum. My immediate thought was that a possum or raccoon had managed to get into the coop and we had just passed a death sentence on all the chickens as they were being torn to shreds by a predator. A lot can pass through your mind very quickly when you are scared.
Then for a brief minute, I looked back at Annabel, wishing she would want to go check it out and let me stay on the safe side of the fence and then I remembered, "I'm the mom." It's very sad that I still have to be reminded sometimes!
I took a deep breath and swallowed, trying to get my brain nimble enough to make an instant decision on the best way to deal with whatever menace was upsetting their chickens. I knew it would have to be swift and I quickly ran to the chicken coop, sure that as soon as I opened the door something would come out fighting.
As I inched toward the latch I took another deep breath and swallowed again.
Quickly I pulled up the latch and the door swung open.
There inside were the chickens, staring back at me, wondering what all the bother was about and really resenting the fact I had disturbed them.
There was nothing else in there but chickens!
I have no idea what happened. Annabel and I looked at each other, shined the light to make sure of what we were seeing and realized there was no cause for all the ruckus.
Who knows? Maybe someone got on another one's side of the roost!