As if losing the guineas wasn’t bad enough, two days later I went to the chicken coop and found a bunch of feathers under one of the windows. I had been leaving the windows open a couple of inches, despite the lack of screens, thinking anything that could get in would be too small to attack half-grown chickens. I looked around and suddenly it seemed like there were a lot fewer chickens than there should be. I started counting – 12 chickens instead of 16!
My first thought was that a weasel must have gotten in, although I didn’t see how it could climb up the siding on the camper. Could it possibly have jumped that far?
The friend who had given me the guineas stopped by later and we were discussing the losses. She pointed out there were places where a raccoon could have climbed up and pulled the chickens out through the window. I later realized that the windows had enough play in them that the raccoon could have opened them wider than the 2 inches or so I left them at.
Anyway, that made perfect sense, because Jake had mentioned smelling a raccoon the night they were here, and a few nights later I saw one in the backyard. My friend thought that was probably what got the guinea, too.
Of course, since then I’ve been shutting the windows at night, and have had no further losses. At least I still have a dozen chickens – but I do miss the guineas!
Part 1: Guinea Problems
Part 2: A Guinea Disaster