A couple of weeks ago, I walked out to the pasture to feed the chickens some leftover pancakes from breakfast. I thought it was unusual that they weren't greeting me at the pasture gate as they normally do. I went to open the gate when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. Not chicken movement, mind you. Large animals movement.
Two big dogs were in the pasture, apparently with no way to get out. My heart sank. I looked around and saw piles of feathers everywhere (among other things, but I'll spare you the gory details). I couldn't see any live chickens anywhere. I yelled to the kids to go get Rick, and he went running for the BB gun....not that that would do any good now, but that's how we usually scare off stray dogs.
|the lone survivor|
Some of those chickens we had had since our very first batch of chicks five plus years ago. Some of them, honestly, I will not miss. They fly out of the pasture and mess up our garden. But we had 10+ new chicks that we had recently acquired to replenish our now retired (no longer laying) chickens.
So we decided that we would clear out some brush from around the fence and start trying to atone for our lack of care. It's a big job, and is still not done
(we lost a lot of ornamental pears on that fence line
several years back and have yet to clear them away). When we got to the area where Bad Dog #2 was hiding, I was ready to just smack that dog into next week. But after careful observation I could see that she was terrified.
Now, if it had not been for the Valentine's Day massacre of '06 (we lost half our chickens through dog attack that time....and I cried like a baby) I would not have been prepared emotionally for what happened. I was, and still am, deeply saddened by the loss of our ENTIRE flock except the rooster. But it happens. It's life. No one cried. We just dealt with it. We were sad. We made plans for a better coop/fence in the future. But we dealt with it. For us, this was an emotional loss and the loss of luxurious, home "grown" eggs. I can only imagine how devastating this loss would have been to a pioneer.
We will rebuild. If you don't rebuild, the dogs win.