Wonder in the Woods

Living and Learning in the Pacific Northwest

Heart Pumping Nature

We had an incident today that got my heart pumping.  Last month a coyote got one of our chickens and several of the neighbors chickens.  The other neighbor saw the coyote carrying a chicken in its mouth. We also found the leg of a fawn the same day.  Today, I could hear a chicken(s) screaming, which sounds like a child’s strangled screams.  The kids were in the house so I thought it was the coyote getting another chicken.  

It is the wrong time of day for coyotes to hunt but wild animals are not following their normal behavior patterns.  My friend saw a cougar near her house at noon this summer, and six cougars were trapped in two months on the same farm.  In march two male cougars were trapped within a couple of miles and couple of hours of each other. Male cougars have a territory of 150 miles so this is highly unusual. 

Anyhow, intending to scare off the coyote, I rushed out with a racket in each hand.  I told the boys to stay in the house but, of course, they trailed after me.  I discovered a strange dog chewing on one of our chickens through the fence and I could hear the neighbor’s visiting daughter calling his name from her Dad’s yard.  When Kelly put up the fence to protect the chickens from the coyote(s), he did not want to cut the fence, so he coiled it (see pic).  Two poor chickens wedged themselves in the coil trying to find safety which only gave the dog better access to them.

Pandemonium ensued as kids came running, neighbor came running, and our dogs came running to fight off the invader.  She was trying to talk to me to apologize for her dog and holding her dog near the chicken fence.  I suggested she move her dog away from the chicken pen and I gathered our dogs to put them in the house.  Meanwhile the kids were scrambling up the treehouse because I gave them the “what for.”

My heart is still feeling kinda funny and this was about an hour ago.  Our boys need to learn to stay put when we tell them to stay put.  We need to have a fire drill of sorts for emergencies like this.   There are cougar and black bear in our the area too, spotted within 15 miles.


Henry was upset and wanted to tend to his chicken.  She went into the coop where I cannot reach her.  Here are the poor girlies hiding in the coop and the coyote scat we found last week.


I signed up a while back for the Outdoor Challenge Mondays by 5 Orange Potatoes.  I hope to get back into regular nature posts– at least every Monday.

8 comments on “Heart Pumping Nature

  1. April Andrews
    August 22, 2010

    Oh Cori! Scary stuff indeed!! My kiddos do that too. Like when someone rings the bell (mostly solicitors) and three little bodies rush the door! Ugh! Makes me crazy!

    We are hoping to get back to our nature studies next month. Hopefully by then it will be no so hot outside! We went walking yesterday and after less than an hour outside, we were all covered head to toe in sweat and just miserable!

    • Wonder in the Woods
      August 23, 2010

      I hope you get some relief from the heat soon!! I guess you don’t want to know that it was 50 degrees here at 8:00 am? lol Sorry, couldn’t resist. I need a little laughter at the moment. I’m worrying about animals and kids (not mine) too much.

  2. GinaG
    August 23, 2010

    You definitely should do a “safety drill” and come up with a code word to say in situations like this. When my kids were little we had a code word that I used only when I needed them to listen instantly/not ask questions. We didn’t have to use it often but it was effective when we did need it.

    Hope your heart, and chickens, have recovered!

    • Wonder in the Woods
      August 23, 2010

      I like the code word idea!! Definitely have to work on that. The chicken was out the yard scratching today. She did have a puncture/tear and Kelly could see the breast meat. That dog was running loose again this evening! ugh.

  3. foursquareschoolhouse
    August 23, 2010

    Oh dear God, Cori! That is so scary–you weren’t kidding when you told me there was a coyote issue in your part o’ the country. I’m so sorry about the dog incident, too! How sad!!

    I’d be heartbroken to find a fawn’s leg–despite our budding nature collection.😦

    • Wonder in the Woods
      August 23, 2010

      Little fawns are so beautiful, I know what you mean. Kelly had tears in eyes for his favorite chicken. She followed Kelly everywhere he went in the yard.😦

  4. Sally
    August 30, 2010

    Oh my goodness! My heart is just racing reading this post! Hopefully things are settling down now….and I am taking that code word tip to heart!

    • Wonder in the Woods
      August 30, 2010

      Hi Sally, I’m still trying to think of a good code word. We need to practice it. My eldest wants to protect too and is starting to get headstrong about it. Boy bravery. ~Cori

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This entry was posted on August 22, 2010 by in Animals, Homestead, Learning, Nature, Outdoor Challenge, Summer.



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