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.
Went treeplanting this weekend at Jacinta's parents' farm. Helped plant around 250 trees, which isn't all that very many. Had a few beers, kicked back, and generally had a most enjoyable time.
What wasn't as enjoyable was coming home, and finding two dead chickens. Being away for a day or two we left the coop open, which allows the chickens to put themselves to bed, and release themselves in the morning. This is something we've been doing for years without loss, but recently which we've been avoiding since we woke one morning to find one less chicken.
This was the first time the coop door was left open since the last attack, and clearly whatever it is that has a taste for chicken is still visiting. We know it's an animal, and we know that it's good at jumping at 7ft fence. We believe that the way in which it actually nabs the chickens is that it scares them out of the coop first, and chickens are stupid enough to leave the safety of an elevated enclosure to run around on the ground. Chickens aren't very good runners.
What was dissapointing is that while last time the chicken was completely eaten (except for wings and head), this time we simply found two chickens without heads. Losing a chicken to become a meal for a hungry animal is one thing, but losing two chooks and finding them essential whole in our yard is another.
One chook was old and noisy, but beautifully decorated. The second a lovely natured thing, which was very friendly and affectionate, and I'm rather sad they're both gone.
Given this appears to be a continued problem, and it's unreasonable for us to be around every night and morning lock-up and release the chickens, we'll probably look at investing in some sort of trap to capture our noctural visitor.