Monday, October 12, 2009
Our Chickens-Survival of the Fittest
We had the misfortune last Sunday night to come home at dusk to most of our chickens in a lifeless trail between the garden and coop. I had left home a little after 6. Before leaving home, I checked on the chickens, who we had let out to free range in the garden that I had picked clean the other day. They seemed happy so I left them out and planned to be home in a couple hours to close them inside their coop.
Now I am wishing I had gone ahead and herded them into the coop before I left, because if I did they *might* have survived. I say "might", because a few years ago dogs had climbed over our chicken fence and killed all but one of our chickens. :-/
We definitely suspect dogs are the culprit in this case as well. Most of the chickens(19) were killed and left for dead, presumably so the killer could run after and kill the next one they saw. Only one of the chickens had anything eaten off of it, and that one was found far away from the others.
I took pictures of each of them(yuck), as well as of the line of them from the garden area to the coop where they were running toward safety when they were killed. Randy called the police to file a report and the animal control officer came and took pics and took a statement. We have been watching every night and haven't seen any sign of other predators that would do this. I figure it was someone's dogs and when they came home with a mouthful of blood and feathers, they probably decided it might be wise to keep their dogs on their property where they belong so they wouldn't get shot.
The 6 chickens we found alive the next morning were up in trees near the house, on top of a rabbit hutch we have out back and in some other unknown places. I am thankful we got to keep at least a few of them to provide us with eggs(once they start laying).
A pic of the line of dead chickens from the garden(the edge is at the left of the picture) to the chicken coop: