Diary

Learning the hard wayRSS feed

Posted: Friday 11 June, 2004

by Dan at 9:16pm in Poultry 3 comments Add your own

We lost another hen this evening. Two of the retired sheepdogs from the neighbouring farm occasionally come to visit us, and we make them welcome, give them a stroke or a brush and a few dog biscuits. They're good natured souls, and have had a hard life. One of them is Meg's mother, Gyp, who is an especially sweet dog. The other is Lyn.

Lyn sometimes chases the hens, but since Tess does exactly the same we'd never really worried about it. Tonight though she killed our Light Sussex, one of the original 3 hens we bought in 2002. The farm dogs had been down to visit, and had had their usual treats and attention. I was busy in a corner of the field trying (unsuccessfully) to plant some large silver birch trees (another story). Rosemary was in the house getting Lorna ready for bed. The garden gate was open, as it often is. Suddenly all hell broke loose around the bird feeder, about 50 yards from where I was working, and the Brown Leghorn flew along the lawn wings flapping. The Sussex had met a swift but violent end, neck broken.

We are both kicking ourselves for allowing the farm dogs access to the garden unsupervised. Needless to say it won't happen again. She was a lovely tame hen, by far the tamest of all, with quite a distinct character, and we'll miss her.

Comments

T. Carter

Friday 11 June, 2004 at 11:49pm

I'm sorry for the loss, Dan. It's hard to blame the dog for doing something that comes natural to them, but they really should know better.

Wren

Wednesday 16 June, 2004 at 12:04am

I am sorry to hear of your loss. You have a nice blog, by the way.

Dave H.

Wednesday 16 June, 2004 at 6:54am

Sorry to hear it: it's always a shame to lose good hens, especially one's that've been around for a while. They can get friendly...

We've been very lucky this year - we've not lost a hen yet, and we still have all of our 200+ chicks that we got three and a half weeks ago. They're outside and ranging, too. Extraordinary luck, really: last year we lost 11 hens all told to coyotes, which are a bigger problem here than dogs.

Be well,

Dave H.

- MacRaven

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