In cold weather my dogs like to sleep inside. They usually don't stir at all until morning, but a few nights ago, Huckey woke me up around 2:00 am. I thought it was just the call of nature, but when I opened the door, I heard frantic squawking from the chicken yard.
Huckey shot out and Beau nearly knocked me down following. I jammed my bare feet into my mud boots, grabbed my gun and shells and followed.
In the chicken yard I found a small pile of feathers, but no body. I entered, carefully locked the gate after me, and looked around. There was no evidence of a body, and all the chickens were crammed into the top level of the nesting tower. I thought about chicken predators and which ones do not leave a body behind. Foxes, bobcats, coyotes, owls, and here I was locked in the pen with them in only my PJs and mud boots.
I shined my light around the perimeter to look for signs of egress and when I found none, I took a deep breath and opened the chicken house door. From the other side of the gate, Beauregard silently watched and shook like a leaf. He is terrified of guns, but for my sake he would not leave. Huckey had no such qualms. I could just see him peering out from under the back porch. He had done his part by raising the alarm and that would have to be sufficient.
I carefully entered the chicken house and shined my light around. Nothing obvious presented itself, so I began to shine the light in hidden areas. And there he was, Mr. Possum, hiding under a shelf that used to hold nesting boxes, but now serves as a roost.
I'm not a big fan of opossums They are nasty, evil tempered, and eat their prey alive. So I had no qualms about filling him full of lead. The next morning when Greg came home, we drug him out to dispose of the body. He was one of the biggest opossums I've seen around here. We figure he was the one who was living with the pigs and free loading off of their slop. If he had been content with that, he would still be alive today.
Huckey served as County Coroner and pronounced him dead, and Greg removed the body.
I then began to count my chickens. All were present and accounted for, but Fluff was minus her tail feathers. Narrow escape. There were 'good dog' praises and treats all around. As for DC? He never even woke up.