Saturday, March 13, 2010

Restocking the Flock

A couple of weeks ago we suffered from a chickenocide. Although my spell check doesn't recognize the word my father-in-law should be credited with, our flock has suffered great loss. We awoke to dead chickens all over our yard and pasture, and only four remaining hens, stunned but unharmed. The small door to the coop was open, but the large door was locked. we are still not sure if it was a small dog or a opossum that killed and dragged our chickens across acres of land without actually eating or carrying them off.

One chicken was scared by the invader enough to jump the wooden fence into our backyard, where our own dogs picked up. We have a dog door leading from the backyard to our laundry room, and the next day I entered the laundry room to find a dead chicken and two proud dogs waiting for me. I then prepared to pack my bags and leave for Springfield for good. We already own a house there after all. It was almost too much.

However, after a night of reflection, we cleaned up the yard and began the search for suitable additions to the flock. As always, we found what we were looking for on Craigslist and Josh drove to Seymore for twenty three pullets and two roosters. He purchased a few different breeds, but mainly production reds this time around. We lost two in the first week, from the chickens crowding and trampling in transport and in the coop over the first day or two. The rest seem hearty and brave enough. 

The four big hens and the one duck are still laying and all of these changes didn't seem to affect their stride one bit.

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