For background, we have known for years that everything but squirrels eats cat food. I have no idea why it doesn't appeal to squirrels, but it doesn't. Rats and mice eat it, cats eat it, dogs eat it and racoons love the stuff, not to mention the odd bird.
And generally, one assumes, just about everything would love chicken feed. And would, if possible, help themselves to the scraps in the chicken run. Chickens are messy eaters and seem to toss the stuff about. I catch crows trying to chow down in the run on a regular basis.
(Where is she going with this?)
We keep the chicken feed in two small metal trash cans, complete with lids, in the barn next to the chicken run/coop. One can has scratch, one can has crumbles for layers, the main protein source. Scratch is pretty fattening and some of these girls are plenty fat already. I put four scoops in their dishes in the morning and a scoop of scratch on top and thrown around. I put the lids on the cans. The dog and I go up to the house. I generally leave the barn door open about 3 feet.
Lately when I come down in the morning, I have been cussing J and E for leaving the lid off the cans. J must be throwing feed to the girls in the evening. I let E throw feed to the girls in the afternoon when she gets eggs by herself. But she's supposed to throw them scratch, one bowl, and it's always the crumbles that are open, the lid on the ground or on its side in between the two cans. Don't those two know we will have rats in the feed once it's cold??? jeez. You'd think they could follow through and put a darned lid on a can.
Only today I went down with E to get the eggs. We arrived at the same time. And E had just come home from school. And I knew damned well that I had covered the cans this morning. And there was the lid for the crumbles lying on the ground. There was sort of a hole in the crumble pile inside that didn't quite look like my scooping work, but I couldn't be certain of that.
What I am certain of is that I DIDN'T LEAVE THE LID OFF AND NEITHER DID J OR E. SOMETHING else has taken the lid off the can. But what? The gate is locked and the dog has no interest in chicken feed. Nor do the cats. But as so many, many things eat cat food, one has to assume they also eat chicken feed and that one of them is clever enough to take a lid off a can. In broad daylight. With the chickens right there. (cue creepy music)
So either there is a poltergeist who likes chicken feed or there is a very clever animal that can get a metal lid off a metal can. Consistently.
Call me a spoilsport, but I put a brick on top of each lid this afternoon. If the something is large enough, the brick will not stop them for any significant length of time. We shall see just how weirded out I am tomorrow morning if I find the lid off the can again.