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.