Monday, October 24, 2011

R.I.P. Beloved Mr. Chicken

Woe! Tragedy! Disaster!

A loose pack of dogs, roaming at will with neither collar nor tags, went through our farm on a chicken-killing rampage.  Friends helped beat them off but, when the feathers settled, there were no live peacocks or chickens in sight.  Among the bodies was my beloved little rooster, Mr. Chicken, whose toddler-given name stuck for life.  A Cochin banty, Mr. Chicken was only 10" high but he was a terrific, brave and peaceful little rooster who gently fed and gathered his hens where ever they roamed.

The dogs were not mean or feral, four of them were 3/4 grown chocolate and golden labs with the typical happy, happy lab disposition (once we corralled them away from the chickens).  The adult, a chow mix, seemed like a good dog... none were starving or sick, but all had ticks and absolutely no training.  Discards? Escaped cage dogs?

Cuppers and QT, the peacocks, were saved by flying higher in the nearby trees than I could even believe.  At least 35 feet into the air.

(Note: They stayed up there, alert but making no noise, until I came out the next morning.  It wasn't until I let the hens out into the run that they felt safe enough to come down and join us.)

We had no way to know who had survived in hiding - the body count told us who had died in the field.
Come nightfall, Freckles, one of our "middle" hens crept out of hiding, looking for her sisters.  She began calling and shortly her two daughter hens came out from another brushpile. Penny and Lackenflacken, the two oldest hens (shown right) broke cover and made a wild run for the safety of the open coop.

Freckles (show below with one of her chicks last spring) ran across the open yard to the coop.  I had to walk the two daughter hens along until they got close enough to feel safe running alone to the open door.

Everyone is still skittish.  Several hens were never found - either they went far enough to be beyond calling back or they were (I suspect) terminally wounded and died somewhere in the brush where we could not find them.)

It's a sad little flock of five that remain, but they are regaining their courage and roaming again - - but with much more suspicion now!
R.I.P. Mr.Chicken, tiny little rooster, you died trying to save your girls.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear the sad news about Mr. Chicken. He was a noble and brave soul.


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