Friday, June 3, 2011


Today I lost three of my President Day chickens to a dog attack. It wasn't any of my dogs. I did catch the culprit. This is the same dog that was the perpetrator of was last year's massacre. Not even a "I'm sorry" from the owner and it was owner responsibility, He suddenly decided he would let his dog out. But, that is beside the point. He has to go through life like that. Sad really.

I am very sad about this. Sad is the only word I can come up with right now.

I hatched these chickens myself from my rooster and hen's eggs. Twenty-one days of excitement, wondering, "Can I do this, really?" Yes, I could. I was careful with the heat and humidity. Checking and re-checking. Then the hatch, it was so amazing. Most of you on Facebook shared in my joy as I gave updates and photos and my reflections. You probably got tired of hearing "The President Day chicks" did this or that. I raised them by hand, making sure the bedding was clean, the brooder was at the right temperature and the food and water was fresh. I built a chicken run that I watched over when my chickens were old enough to spend a few hours in the sun and grass. I named them. I sat and watched them for countless hours, enjoying every second. They grew under my watchful eye, until they were big enough to stay in the chicken run. I went out during the wind and rain and a tornado warning to take them to shelter, the barn. They liked it there and they began to free roam. Always together as a group. The flock took over my porch for afternoon rests. Always searching out bugs and grasses and always nearby, close to me. They never strayed away. I would do my chicken call, the same voice they heard coaxing them to hatch. There was a trust there. The flock put themselves to bed back to the barn at dusk and up and at 'em at dawn.. They piled up on a shelf together that they favored instead of the nesting boxes lined up for them.

I was just saying to Rusty last night. I have eleven President Day chickens and eleven ducks. I like the number 11. I also have seven teenager chickens, and the two littles. I would always do a head count, I don't even know how many times a day. Counting. Five reds, four blacks, and two whites. Ok eleven. OCD? Maybe, but I am home always, and mostly I am outside. Working and counting. Keeping my eye out for any signs of hawks or signs of predators of any kind.

I know part of having free roaming chickens is to expect some loss. It doesn't make it any easier.

The attack came this morning. Before Bella and I could get out the door, they were already gone. I have been wandering the property calling for them. Hoping they are hiding in the hollow or under the old Victorian.
Calling, "Chick chiiiiiiiiiiick, chick chiiiiiiiiiiick..."

I only found feathers.

Three Presidents down.


As synchronicity shall have it, an egg pipped in the incubator today. More hatch-lings are on their way.



  1. Oh that is so "sad" and really, really disgustingly RUDE from my point of view. Here in VA, if a dog goes after livestock, you can shoot it! No, I don't want you to do that, but you should at least report it to the ACO that is is a "livestock" killer!!! I'm mad, can you tell?...:)JP

  2. I was SO mad too. I got a good rant out of my system. Crow smack was flying from my beak. :-) End result: The owner of the dog has re-homed it. One of my chickens came out of hiding, fearful, but apparently unscathed. I guess she hid deep in the hollow in the cover of the forest floor. When early evening came, she came back. Poor babies.


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