A Chicken Disaster

Of course I post this beautiful, lovely post about my chickens and then disaster strikes..

First I should back up a few years. We’re driving to my family’s lake house for Christmas and I needed to get some last minute wrapping paper. We stopped at the WalMart in the little town. And I’m talking less than 5,000 people, small, country town. We pull in the parking lot and see a truck and some people crowded around and a sign that reads, “Wolf Pups.”

Baby wearing

At this time we have one dog, a loyal male red heeler that is about 3 years old. And immediately, I’m saying to my hubby, “Cash could totally use a friend. He’s all alone out there.” And we walk up to this truck and the puppies are adorable (as all puppies are). And we end up walking away with this fuzzy wolf.

As the years pass, she grows to look more and more like a grey wolf. I don’t think those sweet people at the WalMart were lying when they said a wolf snuck into their yard and got their dog pregnant. She also proves to be a cunning, brilliant hunter. She has killed opossums, armadillos, and more recently, chickens. Which brings us up to date.

We have a chicken dilemma. We have four roosters free ranging in our kid’s backyard and one rooster in a coop with three hens. I guess the crowing got the better of her, but we came home to barking and squaking and Camo has dug out of their fenced in yard and is chasing a Rhode Island Red rooster out of the kid’s yard.

We get the dog under control and into their fenced in yard and assess the damage. Camo ripped some wood siding off the coop and peeled back chicken wire and let loose all the chickens in the coop. We’ve got two Red roosters in our front yard and three deceased roosters in the kid’s yard. And no mention of any hens. Not a lovely situation going on here..

My sweet hubby gets those dogs so locked up that there is no imaginable way they could leave their yard. And I coax the two remaining roosters onto the front porch. No damage to these two, they are tough! Over the next few days, Camo manages to houdini her way out of her yard. I am befuddled here! How in the world can this dog get out of a fenced in yard that is lined with an electric fence that can shock a horse.

The second morning she got out, she killed one of the remaining roosters. At this point, we have to have a serious conversation about this chicken-crazed dog. We’re almost to the point of having to give her away. And what if she were to attack one of the kids? We go over every inch of the fencing and can not fathom how she got out. We put her up and as seriously as we can, we threaten this wolf hound and tell her this has got to stop or she’s gone..

And you can guess what comes next. That dog got out and got our last rooster. And subsequently we had to find a new home for our wolf hound.

And I’m sitting here trying to find the lovely in this whole debacle of a situation. Really?! Something lovely here? One plus is being able to let our older dog Cash be in the kid’s yard. He’s never been very concerned with playing or jumping and likes to patrol the edge of the fence and lay close, but not too close. He’s a calming presence and likes to follow me when I get up move around the yard. So maybe through the loss of one calming animal group I’ve gained a new calming friend. Maybe over the next few weeks I can find peace in watching Cash pace the fence and dig in the sand to find a cool spot.

Loyal pup, cash

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