What started as an amusing story about life in the country became a stark reminder of the importance of protecting your yard birds.

At First, It Was Just An Odd Thing, Seeing a Chicken Standing On Our Grill

It all started on Sunday evening when my dog, Toby, and I were waiting for my husband to come home from work. I heard a noise outside and asked Toby if that was his Daddy. As is our ritual, he went to the window and looked out. When he didn't see his Dad's car, he turned his attention to the yard and was suddenly laser-focused on something. I thought it was probably a squirrel or deer, so I got up quietly and went to the window. That's when I saw a beautiful Rhode Island Red chicken standing on our propane grill. She eventually moved to our steps but preferred the higher ground, rather than on the lawn, where you expect to see chickens.

READ MORE: Orrington Family Rescues a Squirrel, Learns About Wildlife

Cindy Campbell, Townsquare Media
Cindy Campbell, Townsquare Media

An Investigation Into the Chicken's Home Turned Up a Gruesome Scene

Jim came home shortly after and we contacted our neighbors about whether this was their beautiful bird. The cute chicken was in no hurry to leave our yard and we soon found out why. Unfortunately, a predator had attacked the chickens at her home and killed some of them. Our visitor and another surviving bird had a sleepover at a different neighbor's house until the chickens' owners got home.

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How to Protect Your Backyard Poultry

This funny-turned-tragic story is an excellent reminder that predators are out there and will attack your birds if you don't secure them. Letting your birds wander around the yard during the day is probably okay. But at night, they should be in a locked enclosure where foxes, raccoons, and other predators can't get them. According to Wildlife Help, poultry should be kept within predator-proof fencing and sturdy coops at night, including the hours just before dusk and just after dawn.

Our hearts go out to our neighbors who lost some of their chickens. We're glad at least one sought refuge in our yard and stayed safe on our grill.

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