Killing for fun

Or that is the impression I got. When I got up this morning I saw a dog in our back garden. I went out straight away - there should be no dogs in our back garden as we have (or so we thought) it fenced securely.

The large brown dog showed no inclination to leave the property and indeed seemed more interested in circling the chook run. I figured the chooks weren't at all fazed as they were making no sound.

I got crosser as the dog stayed around until then another dog emerged.

From inside the chook run.

I ran to see the damage and found our three chooks dead on the ground of the run.

They seemed to hear my anger after that and scarpered. There was only one place they could have got through and it involved the two dogs roaming through two other properties and then jumping over our lowest fence.

I was very very lucky that the children had an extraordinary sleep-in and missed all this. Later my lovely friend Nina and her two children came round. The big kids were both off school on account of being extremely tired and run down. Nina ended up babysitting all four children while I identified who the dogs belonged to and liaised with the dog control officer.


The owner of the dogs has visited and apologised and paid the price of replacing our chooks. When Favourite Handyman told Fionn after work, Fionn was quite matter of fact and said "So we can eat them then."

"No."

I'll be talking to more neighbours over the next few days. I've done a little research on getting more chooks but despite these practicalities, I am still stunned and very sad. The chook run itself will need some repairs and we are going to repair a fence between two of our neighbours. In addition, we will move the big pile of weeds and compost which rests up against the neighbour's side of our lowest fence and which provided a ramp for the dogs to mount the fence from. After that, I will price options for raising the height of that lowest fence. Barbed wire might be the best option. I am even wondering about the far side fences in case these dogs (one of which killed a penguin last week I have since learnt) go down to the beach and then explore all the houses closest to the beach, a couple of which are unfenced at the front and border on our home, with aimilarly low fences to us as the one the dogs leaped over this morning.

Only after that, will I get new chooks in. The owner has been fined and ordered to keep the dogs suitably contained but I am sceptical of her ability to do this consistently and want to make sure they don't get my chooks again.

Last night Favourite Handyman made poached eggs for dinner and they were, as usual, very yummy. I didn't know that was The Last Supper. Today I have realised how often I think of our chooks. Each time I see scraps in the kitchen (very frequently it seems) I think of the chooks and now each time there is an emptiness, a sense of waste and of something more sad than waste. Lovely lovely Nina did lots of dishes for me which reduced the kitchen reflection time. Seeing the children have such fun making huts behind the couch (I kept them inside despite the sunshine) took some of the emptiness from the day.

Comments

Mary said…
I am so sorry Sandra.
Nikki said…
Awww, so sorry to hear about your chooks Sandra! Nikki
Gillybean said…
Hey Sandra, So sorry to hear that sad tale. When I first kept chooks we had a stoat attack in the middle of the night killing our girls, I still remember how angry I felt as well as feeling I'd let them down. The poor rooster pined for them afterwards too.
If I ever see other peoples dogs or cats on my property I use a very scary angry voice and throw something handy if I can, they usually don't come back.
Corrine said…
Bummer to hear about your chooks. Ours get attacked by cats stoats and the native falcon..it is our excuse to have a rooster (or two) and have chicks. In spite of preditors our little flock is getting bigger every year. I can't bring myself to kill off the old girls since they teach the young ones how to dodge the falcon. I dug some artichokes yesterday and they are huge and numerous, I'm sure they produce better than potatoes. I'll get some packaged up for the wednesday mail run (hopefully )There will be plenty to try a few as well. I have lots more in the garden.
Thank you Mary and Nikki and Gill and Corrine. Looking forward to the artichokes Corrine.
A few weeks ago we had a fox attack on our chickens when they were having their free time around the garden. One was half killed, and Mike had to put her out of her misery.

In the morning we gently told the children what had happened and how we only had five chickens now instead of six. Because six take away one dead chicken equals five, you see.

Anyway, in the style of Fionn, Eddie asked if we could eat Mary, the dead chicken. We said actually, no, we couldn't.

A couple of weeks later, after visiting my parents and after they had all been fed chicken by my mum, we returned home and Harry asked if we could allow a fox into the garden so that it could kill a chicken and so that they could it for dinner the following night.

Oddly enough, I refused.

Sorry to hear of your loss.
Oop, that turned into a post of its own!
nova_j said…
(((hugs))) sandra!!

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