Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Most who read this blog have already heard the sad news...but for those who haven't I will share. Saturday night was a bad, bad night.
I should back-track a little...earlier that day we had been getting the coop ready for the chickens. We bought hay and a new, bigger feeder. We made them a nice roosting post, too...and laid the hay down in the nesting area. After taking a break, we put the dogs upstairs for a bit while we carried the chickens in a box down the hill and moved them into their new home. The dogs got let out again, and at first didn't notice anything. After a while though, I saw Shasta at the bottom near the coop sitting by the door cocking her head from left to right. Something new was inside there, and she wasn't gonna let it go. Bandit hung out around the coop too, but soon lost interest.
We headed out to get lunch and go shopping for our upcoming trip...when we got back, we immediately went down to the hill to see how the chickies were doing. Shasta was in the same spot we left her in, and had gnawed a little on the lid of the nesting box (it lifts up so you can grab eggs easier)...and it looked like she had tried to dig through some of the gravel that's surrounding the coop. After scolding her for that, and making sure the chicks were okay, we went back in the house. We had an 8:30 reservation for sushi in Old Town...and it was about 6...we were bored, so we decided to just head down there anyways, since Old Town is a cool place to walk around.
When we got back home around 10:30...it was a grim sight. Clint went outside first. Bandit was at the door waiting for us. Clint called for Shasta, but she didn't come...he called her again and he heard her bark. She's not much of a barker, so that was unusual. He looked down the hill, and she was stuck INSIDE the coop. My stomach flipped over a few times at that point, I think. Apparently Shasta found a weak spot in the hardware cloth and just tore her way through. Our poor chickies had been killed. Well, five of them anyways...the blonde one is missing and we combed the yard for any remains and we can't find anything. Weird thing is that Shasta didn't try to eat any of them (that we can see). They weren't bloody or dismembered in any way. Two or three of them probably simply died from fright, as young chickens can do very easily. Shasta hid from us the rest of the night. So did Bandit, even though he didn't actually do anything. I suppose he was feeling guilty by proxy.
The amount of heartache we are feeling seems a little silly since we are talking about chickens here, but I got really attached to them...we both did. They had their own quirky little personalities and they felt like our babies since we've taken care of them on a daily basis now. Every time I think about it I still feel sick inside...and guilty too.
Despite the setback, we are determined to have chickens. You can bet we will be reinforcing that coop to where it is near impenetrable! We will also be working with Shasta a lot. One of the reasons we bought her is the wolf in her, and all the good qualities that come with hybrids...but unfortunately she has the instinct that comes along with it too.
So, we ordered more chickens. This time we will have not only Silkies, but a few Easter-Eggers and one Welsummer, which I am excited for. Hence the name, Easter-Eggers can lay a variety of colored eggs...green, blue, and pink eggs. Welsummers lay very dark brown speckled eggs. They are coming at the end of July, so in the meantime we are going to make our coop into a chicken fortress and also train Shasta.


  1. Oh man, I hadn't heard!!! That is so sad. Poor chickies. :(

  2. Aw, sad!! That is a bummer.

    (I'm guessing you got rid of the chicken carcasses already, but the best way to train a dog not to do that is to tie the chicken carcass to it's neck until it rots off. Gross, I know, but I also know it works really well. Just thought I'd throw that out there.)

    1. Yeah, we got rid of them almost immediately...neither of us were really thinking straight that night, as that would have probably been a good idea!

  3. I had to comment after I read your very sad news! I wanted to give you hope that chickens and doggies can live in harmony :)!
    Our 3 dogs and chickens free-range together for the last 5 years in peace. One of our dogs, Misty was a Northern breed and she attacked the chickens the first day we let them out. I flatted Misty on the ground (Dog Whisper Style :) and let the chickens run around her and if she showed any interest in them she was "corrected". The rest of the day I put a shock collar on her (on HIGH) and only had to used it a couple of times. This worked after one day and haven't had any probelms since.
    I've heard the dead chicken around the neck thing can work. My sister tried that for a week, but her dog went into a depression and attacked the chickens again after it was off.
    I hope this gives you some help/hope!!

    1. Oops..I meant 'flattened Misty' :)

    2. Oh thank you, it does!!! Shasta definitely responds well to the "dog whisperer style" of basically sitting on her type punishment :) She HATES being punished that way and she really knows she did something wrong when we do that. I will definitely try that when the new set of chickens are old enough to go outside. Thanks again!!!