Chicken Update

First Egg

Key: R20091101-214542-levels

For those readers mildly interested in the chicken story whose genesis was documented in Chickens, Anyone? I have a couple of updates:

One of the chickens was killed (and eaten) by our dog, Lily.  Lily and the chickens had been alone together in the back yard for months without incident.  I really and truly believed that she was not going to harm them. I guess the temptation one day was too great.  After that I put in some fencing to keep them apart during the day. I again (naively) thought that although I couldn’t trust her with them alone any more, at least she wouldn’t harm them while I was around. Well, we nearly lost another one while my back was turned.  Fortunately my daughter was walking out into the yard, thought that she had killed another one and yelled out. I turned around and she had another one by the throat. I yelled at her and she backed off. The chicken, mercifully, was unhurt.  The killing shake had not yet been administered, the one I’ve seen so often with her throw toys. Lily is now kept separated from the chickens until they are all safely in the coop for the night. She’s a good dog in all other respects, and I’ve accepted that she’s not really ever going to be able to be trained to resist that urge completely. For her size and heredity especially so, perhaps.  So the brood is down to seven.

On a more positive note, I had been feeling like it was high time that I started getting some nesting boxes put together, because we were approaching the time when the chickens would be old enough to begin to lay eggs.  I had been building an upper level addition on to the coop where they could roost for the night and also had nesting boxes.  Well, they beat me to it, as evidenced from the photo above.  So this weekend I put in a marathon effort to finish the upper story. I still have to get the roofing on (that’ll be next weekend’s project) but I strapped a tarp over the joists and it is functional now.  I’ll be showing a couple of photos of that project tomorrow.

 

4 thoughts on “Chicken Update

  1. I love my dogs and they are very gentle but I’ve seen them kill wild rabbits that have wondered into our back yard so I’m thinking they’d make short work of a chicken.

    Looks like you’re about to enjoy a supply of fresh eggs.

    • Earl,
      There is still some wolf in all of them, isn’t there?

      Now my cat is starting to hang out with them..-) Hard to think he could manage it as he is not even bigger than them, but he’s killed a few small birds already…

  2. Eric, thanks for the update. I was one who found the chicken story interesting. As for Lily, she’s a dog and, although domesticated, she still has the instincts of a predator and. after all, a chicken is food! 🙂 I think that you did the only thing that you could do, separate them. Once she had the taste of the chicken, there was probably no going back.

    That egg looks rather tasty. I’m not sure how the whole chicken thing works. Do you need a Rooster in order to have fertile eggs? I know, I could look it up, but I’d rather ask you. 😉 Or, are you planning to eat the eggs?

    • Hi Paul,
      That was my feeling after the first one–there is no going back after the taste of a delicious, free-range chicken. Heck, I’d keep eating them too!
      These hens are for laying. I have no rooster and from what I hear I don’t want one either, although some people swear by eating fertilized eggs. No, we’ll just be eating regular unfertilized eggs. But free-range, with a healthy supplemental diet that we provide. I’m excited to try them and you can be sure I will post a picture of that breakfast. Unfortunately I don’t think I can eat this particular egg, because since I wasn’t expecting any eggs yet I didn’t find it until probably a couple days after it was laid. It might still be good, but the weather here has been warm and sunny. Not gonna chance it. But I have been looking religiously every morning now.

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