I won’t post a picture with this one because it’s a bit too gruesome. One day back in April, I was sitting quietly in the living room while the chickens roamed around outside of the fenced yard. This was the middle of the day.
I heard a sudden commotion in the back yard. A chicken giving an alarm call. I ran to the back door to check. I could see several chickens spread out around the yard motionless, except for one who was high-tailing it for the fenced yard. Curious as to what caused the commotion, I took one more step out the back door. A coyote, who was blocked from my view, took off for the woods. Terrified, I gather up my girls and put them back into the safety of their yard and went in search of the one that had taken “flight”.
It took me a while, but I finally found her in the far corner cowering in some weeds. It looked at first as if she had gotten away clean, but when she turned around, I realized just how close she had come to being a coyote’s dinner. Half her tail feathers and a lot of her back and bottom body feathers were missing and she had a bad gash under her pygostyle (pope’s nose).
There was no way to catch her until nightfall, so I waited and arranged to have Sara come by to help with the veterinary care. After dark we nabbed her from her perch in the coop and took her inside to clean her up and start her on antibiotics. I was all for calling her Lucky, but Sara had seen too many Luckies in her years of veterinary practice who were anything but lucky. Peter suggested Roadrunner and it stuck.
It took about two weeks for the wound to heal and all the feathers to return, but she’s fully recovered and no worse for the experience. I’m able to tell her apart by the fresh black and white tail feathers. At least I will until she molts.
What still baffles me is why the coyote went for a Barred Rock hen, when far more obvious white Leghorn hens were sticking out like sore thumbs in the yard? Prey of convenience, I guess.