I don't have any pictures to accompany this post. You'll thank me.
Yesterday, we lost six chickens to a neighborhood dog. It was a fairly large but skinny husky that got out of his yard. He found the chicken coop and seemed to regard it as some sort of chicken vending machine. We really don't know how he got at the chickens, since there were only two small corners where the wire was not completely attached. The chickens never bothered getting out before - how on earth could a big dog get his head (or whole body) in? I guess I grossly underestimated the power of a determined predator.
However he did it, Sarah saw him kill a chicken around 10:00 a.m. and came to get me. By the time I got myself up there, two more chickens lay dead in front of the coop.
At first inspection, it appeared that we were missing ten chickens from the coop. Six of these were found, dead, lying in various places in the surrounding field. They weren't mutilated, just dead. The rest were still unaccounted for until later that afternoon, when we found them pecking around outside of the pen. The dog must have pulled them out alive, and they were able to escape into the woods.
Brian was good enough to dig a hole and go around, collecting the casualties with a shovel, while I closely inspected the chicken coop, tightly securing anything that looked small enough to get even a paw through. Then I sat out back in a car, staking out the place, waiting for the criminal to come back for his next fix.
In the meantime, Sarah went on Facebook and lo and behold, there was a picture of the murderer, posted by his distraught owner. Apparently he always came back right away whenever he got out before. Of course, that was before he discovered the chicken dispenser.
Sarah called the owner, who came up to our area. I never got to meet her, but she found him without much trouble. She told Sarah that he's a very friendly dog who wouldn't hurt anybody. She didn't offer to make restitution for the dead chickens.
All in all, it was a very eventful start to a very stressful day, and it didn't get any better after that. It was one of those days when you're just glad it's over.