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pjf (2464)

pjf
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I run Perl Training Australia [perltraining.com.au].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Sunday August 29, 2004
01:27 AM

$chickens--

[ #20621 ]

$chickens--
Woke up this morning to discover that we had lost a chicken sometime during the night. Feathers were strewn across the yard, and while the main body of the chicken could not be found, we did find its dismembered head and wings. Not the nicest way to start the day.

The chicken was taken from the coop during the night, but we're unsure about the culprit. A cat is capable of getting over the fence, but it would have to be a very large cat to eat or carry away an entire chicken (sans head and wings). A dog or fox could eat or carry away an entire chicken, but neither is likely to be able to get over the fence of negotiate its way into the coop. A bird of prey isn't likely to leave bits of chicken behind, or could be expected to leave much more (legs, ribcage, and so on).

That leaves the possibility that the chicken could have been lost to a human. That's not a palateble thought, the idea of someone entering our yard and multilating chickens isn't something that leaves one feeling very safe.

If it is a human, then there's also a question of motivation. We've been keeping chickens for around three years. If one of our neighbours took exception to them (they can get a little noisy at times), then I would hoped for a more social discussion of the topic, or at the very least an incident in the morning (when they can be a little loud) -- not during the middle of the night when the chickens are asleep and quiet.

As a precaution, we're keeping the gate locked, and the chickens' coop closed up at night.

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  • It sounds like a predator mammal to me. The first thing that comes to mind is a fox, your description of the whole scene sounds that way, to me.

    But if you think a fox couldn't get to the chickens, perhaps one of the weasel/marten [britannica.com] type of family: strong, slender creatures.

    I'd definitely rule out humans, no human would try so hard to make it look like an animal did it. Instead, you'd more likely just be missing a chicken, with no visual clue to that anything even happened, at all. And if a human wanted to s