This is not a story for children! Grab your Kleenex!
On December 18, I had just written this story about Miss Hattie. The chickens were all in their fenced areas (three separate areas) because we had some dump trucks bringing sand and dirt and I didn’t want the chickens to get run over. Of course, Miss Hattie was out.
I’m turning off comments because I’ll still cry thinking about it all.
Just after lunch I left and was gone for about 20 minutes. When I drove in, I thought it was odd that none of the chickens were in the yards and then I looked and saw two dogs in my my driveway, each with a dead chicken in their mouth. Then I looked and there were dead chickens everywhere. There were two live chickens in one coop and when they heard me, they ran out into the fenced area and the dogs went after them. At first I was too scared of the dogs to get out of the car but then I got out and started throwing rocks at the dogs. There was a third dog in the woods running around. I called Vince and I was pretty hysterical. He came home . and what was left by the time he got here was 22 dead chickens.
The dogs had torn down the fences and destroyed the food and water containers inside the coops, all the bantams were killed, even the ones on the nests. There were 2 red chickens left but one of them died later from her injuries. That night, just before dark, two chickens came out of the woods where they had managed to escape and stay relatively safe. They had injuries but they survived.
There were 4 baby bantams that had just hatched so we put them under the heat light and that night as Vince was cleaning out the eggs from the nest, some of them were “chirping” so we added under the lights and 2 of them hatched out and that’s how we ended up with the 6 bantam babies we have now.
As far as shoring up the fences, it’s cost prohibitive for us to do that. We have chicken wire and we’ll reinforce it along the top but dogs the size of the ones here could get into most any fence we would put up. Even if dogs don’t get to the chickens, they can scare them enough that they’ll run into the wire and kill themselves.
It’s been 1-1/2 months and I sometimes still open the back door and expect Miss Hattie to come flying into my arms. For days and days, I hoped she would walk out of the woods. Even today, when it was warm and sunny, and I was outside working, I wondered . . can a chicken survive 40 days in the woods? No, I know they can’t and I know she’s gone.
It would have been bad enough to have come home and found it all but to see it still in progress . . it just wasn’t a good day!