Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $33,972 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Fowl play

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 08, 2012

A few readers have asked how “City Gates” is different from our other blogs. That’s a fair question. We’re still experimenting a bit, as we sort out which ideas belong in which blogs. But the general idea is that “City Gates” is a forum for more informal ideas and the occasional reflection about what’s going on in our personal lives. The following, I trust, will be easily recognizable as something that just wouldn’t quite belong on any other part of the Catholic Culture site.

Have you ever noticed that everything eats chicken? If you keep any animal, you have to be concerned about possible predators. If you keep chickens, the list is virtually endless. Several years ago we lost a dozen chickens in a series of unfortunate encounters with raccoons, coyotes, weasels, a hawk, and finally a fishercat. The carnage was discouraging, and we lived without chickens for a while. But last year some friends were forced to give up their chickens, and the prospect of several good fresh eggs every day enticed us back into the business.

All was well until some unknown predator found its way into the shed that we have converted into a coop, and in the morning one of the chickens was missing its head. We made the same ugly discovery yesterday morning, and I spent my lunch hour doing some rough carpentry: putting another plank on the threshold, shoring up the door, tightening the chicken wire, adding a second bolt to keep the door shut tight. When I was done, I felt satisfied that there was no hole in the defenses big enough to allow entry by anything that could kill a chicken.

Wrong. This morning there was another headless chicken on the floor. I’ve just spent 15 minutes poring over every corner of the coop, looking for an entry. I found nothing.

Ordinarily, at this time of year footprints in the snow around the stable would provide some clues. But there is no snow, and the frozen ground yields no footprints. Do we have any readers who are more experienced with poultry, and might act as Sherlock Holmes? I’m stumped. The chickens are going to roost in the garage tonight.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($120,151 to go):
$150,000.00 $29,848.98
80% 20%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: littleone - Feb. 08, 2012 6:13 PM ET USA

    I like this new City Gates column and thank you for it. I know nothing about chickens really but did a quick yahoo search on chicken heads off and the first few things I ran into had in common the idea of hawks/owls/eagles as biting heads off. God BLess you and your chickens!!

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 08, 2012 2:14 PM ET USA

    Spurred by our common experience with the Church, what is the chance that it is something in the coop already, such as a rat?

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs 20 hours ago
How not to be persuasive 21 hours ago
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28
Does the Kasper Proposal make Pope Francis a heretic? Invalid marriages and mortal sin October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6