Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fencing and a Great Loss





Last week I came home for lunch.  It was something I rarely do, but I forgot my cell phone and I thought I would go home and get it.  While I was home, I gave the chicken girls a treat.  They were all happy and healthy.  The girls are family pets and egg producers.  We do not eat them.  You are welcome to eat yours and I do not look down on you if you do.  Once I name a pet and he or she becomes a member of my family, I can't eat him or her.  It is just a personal feeling of mine.  

I live in Wichita, Kansas, and I have a permit to have 12 chickens in my back yard.  No rosters are allowed in the city limits because the crowing is too loud for neighbors.  Roosters do not just crow in the mornings and they do not crow just once.  You don't need a rooster for hens to lay eggs but you do need a rooster to have fertile eggs.  

Just after I arrived home in the evening after work, one of my neighbors came over.  He informed me that a dog had been in my back yard and killed all of my chickens.  His wife saw the event as it was ending.  She said it was a tan Husky-looking dog with a red bandana around its neck.  I was and still am devastated.   I had all kinds and colors of chickens.  Only 10 were mature hens and egg layers.  We received 4-7 eggs per day.  I had a few more than the city allowed, but the extra were small and not mature. 

 If you have not had home grown or laid eggs lately, you need to discover how much better they taste.  My hens were not in a tiny cage.   They could be outside and smell the fresh air, eat bugs, take dust baths, play with each other, and enjoy life.  I have a large chicken coop with half of it enclosed.  The other half is screened in.  Off of that area is a large chicken run.  I usually let the girls out to free range in the back yard every day.   My family teases me about the large chicken coop and the high cost of each egg to produce.  They are referred to as my $10.00 eggs. 

The back yard has 5 foot fencing in the front and on 1 side.  The other 2 sides have 6 foot fencing.  The neighbors that I have had problems with in the past own 3 Huskies.  They state they have buried railroad ties in the ground next to the fence to keep the dogs from digging.  Also they state no holes are under the fence at this time and their dogs will not keep bandanas on.  The dogs were inside and not in the back yard when we visited with this neighbor, so I could not take pictures.  We have not had any problems for quite a while, so I thought they took care of the digging problems.  

The trespassing dog may have belonged to someone else, and he or she may have jumped over the front fencing.  We do not have any other Huskie-looking dogs in the area as far as I have seen.  I would love to see the owner of the trespassing dog come forth and be responsible for the devastation he or she caused.

After the incident, and over a few days, I called twice and left messages.   I did not have any call returned or have a visit to the home.  It was a 3 day holiday weekend (Veterans Day), so that may be why I did not have return calls or visits.   I decided to call again and this time a man answered the phone.  He read a report made from the telephone calls and he said  the report stated that I had kittens killed by a dog.  I corrected him, explained the issue, gave him contact names and numbers of myself and my neighbor.  He stated he would be out that evening around 6.  I never heard from him or any representative again.  

I have been very upset about the death of my girls.  Their last minutes of life were filled with fear.  The dog hunted them down and broke their necks, leaving them strung all over the back yard. Feathers are still everywhere.  Only a couple of the girls were bloody.  My son and some of his friends picked up the girls and placed them in garbage bags I understand that dogs are hunters and it is their instinct to kill; however, they should be behind fencing and not trespassing in my fenced back yard.  My 2 little dogs never harmed my chickens.

Eventually I would like to have more chickens in my back yard.  Apparently I will have to put up higher fencing and dig down along the back fence to place some kind of deterrent for dogs digging from the other side.  I feel that I should not have to go to such extreme since dog owners should be responsible for his or her own dog(s), but some are not.  I personally feel that all large breed dogs should be housed inside 7 feet fencing,  but this is another blog post I will need to address at a later date.

In order to afford the extra fencing for my back yard, I would like to sell chicken pot holders/hot pads .  They are pictured below and available on my website.  http://www.custercottage.com  I thank you for viewing my blog and helping me vent.  Any purchase would be appreciated.  May God bless you and yours.  Dawnie






2 comments:

Mary said...

I am so sorry for your loss. The carnage caused by predator dogs is inexcusable. I don't understand negligent dog owners.

My heart goes out to you. I lost my entire turkey flock to a raccoon so I know how much it hurts.

I'd love to buy a potholder or two to get you started again. We can't replace the ones we loved, but we can honor their memory by acknowledging the joy of backyard chickens. Your coop is lovely and should be filled with happy hens.

RIP girls.

Dawn Jones, Spinner Extraordonaire said...

Thank you so much Mary. Your package is ready to go to you!