Friday, April 20, 2012

Solving a Murder

I have had many questions or comments regarding the murder of our chickens. Many people have gently commented that it might have been the cats. After all, we are Seven Cats Farm. So I did a little bit of asking (read as frantic phone calls and emails to some people who know much more than I do). This is what I've learned.

Chickens are too big for cats to mess around with. Bobcats - yes, a chicken makes a nice little snack. But not for our mousers. Mice, gophers, voles... these are the things that are the right size for our cat pride.

It has been told that both skunks and opossums will get into a coop and kill a chicken just to dine on their brain. Who know that chicken brain was a rodent delicacy.

Our neighbor heard a cat fight in the middle of the night of the crime. Here is what I think happened: Our mousers heard a ruckus and came to inspect and found (probably) an opossum in with the chickens. They scared the opossum away and that is why only two chickens were killed and why Anna's body was left intact. So the cats are the heroes of the story.

And for all you who know better, let me have this fantasy of mine.


  1. I had always thought that the cats might have scared the murderer away.....reality!

  2. Weasel??
    Svendsen (1982) writes: “Overall, weasels are more of an asset than a liability. They eat quantities of rats and mice that otherwise would eat and damage additional crops and produce. This asset is partially counter-balanced by the fact that weasels occasionally kill beneficial animals and game species. The killing of domestic poultry may come only after the rat population around the farmyard is diminished. In fact, rats may have destroyed more poultry than the weasel. In most cases, a farmer lives with weasels on the farm for years without realizing that they are even there, until they kill a chicken.”

    1. Don't know. It's been mentioned that it could be a weasel. Whatever it is, it makes me sad. But we will continue to have chickens and the fresh eggs that come with them!