Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yesterday morning Farmer Rick left the door to the chicks unsecured and Francisco killed five before I came to their rescue. I had left the house and fortunately returned for something I'd forgotten, or else they all would be dead. I am extremely angry at FR's lack of mindfulness, and saddened by the loss (as he is). We had a good cry when we buried them.

It's too bad all our rescue dogs are hunting breeds instead of shepherding breeds.

Among the dead was Emma, the little Marans whose feet I taped every night and was finally walking fairly normally (she walked like a wind up toy), the most precocious Brabanter that flew to the tub side to see me every time I entered the room, a Buff Laced and a Silver Laced Polish, and the pesky Buff Orpington I didn't order who was finally settling down. Between the hatchery mix up, original losses, and this, my breeding plans are all messed up!

On top of the already heavy day, the replacement peeps showed up, a day before expected. I had just spoken to the hatchery Monday and they assured me the chicks were shipping Wednesday, not arriving Wednesday. The hatchery had asked if it was OK to put "a couple" of extra males in for warmth, and I said OK since they had sold out of any other hens I wanted. What I got was eight extra males of a same--but as yet unknown--breed! Since when is eight a couple? Now what on earth am I going to do with all those roosters?

I don't understand what's going on with today's lack of customer service and communication. It's pervasive from dishwashers to chickens. Maybe businesses have grown too large to be effective. I get the best service and communication from the individual sellers on eBay and Etsy.

The new replacement peeps are small and fragile in comparison to the first ones, I'm nervous about them. Francisco is banished to the side yard until all the babies have moved into the new coop. The hatchery is done with it's run this spring, so today I located an individual selling fertile eggs for some of my losses, and I ordered a Hobovator (incubator). Farmer Rick is open to trying new strategies for becoming more fully awake and mindful in the morning. This has been a rough spring for many of us.

Hopefully my next posts will be more cheerful...


EarthNSky said...

I'm sorry about your chickens. The best laid plans...I am a dog lover, but I have to say I've lost more chickens to dogs than anything else. I'd happily take that pesky Buff off your hands...!

Dana and Daisy said...

what to do with all those roosters? Are you vegetarian?

I am so sorry about your losses. I say tar and feather Farmer Rick. I am trying to use humor to salve the wound, but I don't think it is working.

Truly I am sorry.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I'll trade you one nice rooster for one broody hen.

flowerweaver said...


Was beginning to like the Buff, so too bad she's gone now. I'd read they were very broody, so I was hoping she would be a helper in the program.

We've lost two grown chickens to our dogs (Francisco & Cody), so I know what you mean. Every time it was our fault for not securing a gate or door. Mindfulness is crucial to homesteading!

We are vegetarians, so we can't handle housing the extra roosters. If they turn out to be an interesting rare breed I'll consider keeping the most personable one. Unfortunately one is having trouble with one of its feet, like Emma.

Crazy Sheep Lady,
Finley needs a buddy. Won't you please trade me one cute lamb for eight nice roosters? :)
--Crazy Chicken Lady

Juli said...

I'm so sorry about the chicks ! One of our beloved dogs has killed about 5 hens over the last 8 years *~* Maybe the ones that survived will be all the stronger for the experience.

Jemm said...

Hi, I'm Jemm. Dana sent me to you. I'm so sorry for your loss. I just got my first 3 chicks EVER and posted about them this morning. She saw my post and said I had to check out your blog. I scrolled down and your chicks are so cute. I can't imagine if something happened to mine and I've only had them a day!! I must get some polish! Your coop is looking awesome. Can't wait to see the finished product. :)

Anonymous said...

My dog has killed birds from pigeons to doves to sparrows -- anything that moves.

Now that she is older -- and on phenobarb -- I don't see feathers or carcasses much anymore. But, chickens would not have a chance.

Sage, you and Rick are building a really unique chicken coop. I'm looking forward to the pictures of the finished product -- and a leak report after the first rainy season.

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