Who knew that moving was so hard?! Oh yea.. everyone knows!
We’ve been on the farm for almost a month now and still trying to settle in.. but there’s so much stuff!! Between Mitsi’s and my kitchen additions we have double and some triple of every kitchen appliance and gadget you could ever want.. although I’m sure we will still find a way to buy new gadgets. But so so much stuff.. it seems like we will never get through the madness of boxes. But, all is gong well with the merging of everyone and everything. However, not so much for the chickens though..
The morning after moving in was a sad, sad day. I step out the back door on my way to take the dogs for a walk around the property and I hear chickens scuffling and squaking, and I look pass the trees to see whats happening and I see a black dog chasing the chickens. I run faster than I have run in a long time and as I get there the dog has her teeth in one of the chickens.. I charge through the fence yelling and clapping my hands and finally get to the dog and throw myself at her, my hands pushing her neck down to the ground. I drag her by the neck out of the fence and then scare her off through the front of the property. I run back to the chickens.. and by this time Mitsi has come out to the back porch to see what all the commotion is and I just look up at her from a distance and shake my head. There’s chunks of feathers everywhere and no chickens in sight. I look through the shrub line off to the left and see one of our Rhode Island Reds hiding and then see Polly, our white one. I was hopeful.. but then I come across a dead one. My heart sunk and all I could think about was how devastated my mom was going to be when she finds out (she’s been spoiling them for a year now with peanut butter sandwiches and way more love than any chicken has probably ever had). And then I hear someone calling from across the fence.. it’s our neighbor that we haven’t met yet hollering to let me know there’s a dead chicken over in her yard. She brings it over and let’s us know how sorry she is about our chickens.. And then goes on to tell us about the black dog and how she can climb to get over fences, and then points us across the street in the direction of the owners house. So, Mitsi and I both grab a dead chicken by the feet and begin marching over there. I can only imagine what the traffic passing by us was thinking as we crossed the street. I knock on the door, and a very short, older lady answers and looks very bewildered at us.. I can only imagine what her first thought was too. As much as we wanted someone that we could just go off on and yell at we could not do so with this lady.. so we go on to tell her what has happened and she explains that she has tried to keep the dog pinned up but she just continues to jump the fences. We let her know that we understand dogs have an urge to hunt but that we can not have this happening everyday especially with more animals to come.. she understood and told us she would call her son to have him take her away.
After surveying the chicken pen and our neighbors yard for the other chickens we found 4 dead, 2 badly wounded, three not too wounded but with lots of feathers missing, and two missing so most likely dead. I tied my dogs out to the fence line that was accessible, one on each end until the fence jumping dog could be taken away. So, all said and done we had only three chickens left after the two badly wounded ones passed, one of which was Bitty Boo, Mom’s favorite chicken. Sorry once again mom:(
But now a couple weeks after the devastation, we went to our next door neighbors sister’s house and bought 8 more young and newly laying chickens (four Red Stars, three Araucanas, and one Barred Rock) to replace the others. Oh, and I forgot to mention that shortly after the other disaster we had a stray chicken (another Barred Rock) come to our yard wanting in our pen with the other chickens.. she looked like she had barely escaped a wrestle with the dog also. But we took her in and she fits in just fine now. So, life is happy again with our 12 girls.. not only cause we have some sweet new chickens to look after and spoil again, but also because once you are used to eating farm fresh eggs there is really no going back to store bought ones. Seriously, even Liza knows the difference, she will not eat store bought eggs. And with 30 baby chicks on order and coming soon, we decided to build a new home for the chickens too! We converted a small open shed that was already on the property into their new coop.
They are some pretty happy chickens now:)
I look forward to our next adventure as we slowly start building our farm up one animal and shelter at a time! Who knows what will be next.. goats, cows, pigs or horse?