Just Keeping Them Alive

| 5/19/2015 3:15:00 PM

Rima AustinA few of my closest friends know that for my birthday my oldest daughter, Heather, bought me two baby chicks to start my chicken family. I was ecstatic and fell in love with those two little baby chicks. The first day they would barely show their faces, but by the second day they were walking around and pecking and making those cute little chick noises. Within days they had grown by leaps and bounds. One beautiful sunny day I decided that some sunshine would do them some good.

First baby chicks

What the first baby chicks looked like. (Credit: Taylor-Made Homestead)

I had a portable pen that was covered with chicken wire. On one end of it there was a chicken wire door that could be latched. The door itself was pretty small so I thought that they would not be able to fly out of it and would be content pecking around in the dirt and getting some sunshine. I knew I needed to stay outside with them so I made the decision to mow the yard while the chickens pecked and the dogs ran around and played.

Everything was fine for about the first 15 minutes, the dogs were busy chasing each other and every pet was where they were supposed to be. Then, faster than you can say chicken and dumplings, all hell broke loose. I came around the house on the mower, and I saw my sweet dog Molly staring at me from inside the portable coop. It took a minute for my brain to register what I was looking at and that it was a full-scale red alert.

Molly wants chickens

6/8/2015 9:10:36 AM

Oh yeah. We got our first chickens-11 layers and 17 meat birds just about 4 weeks ago. When I first had them in the bathtub I would let the dogs visit while I was in there. No problem. They grew like crazy in the coop. I separated them a few days ago since the meats were 3 times the layers size. My little Jack/Westie cross would come and sit outside the coop and look in. The bottom where the layers were was surrounded with hardware cloth and at night we lowered covers to keep them warm. Jack loved to dig a little dip in the sand and watch the chicks while he kept cool. (I live in NM) Yesterday, before church, we went out to check on the chicks. We don't have a way for them to get out of the coop yet-the floor is a foot lower than the door. But as we opened the door one of the meats jumped onto the ledge and faster than I could imagine my Jack jumped and grabbed it by the throat and ran off. He didn't get very far. The bird and Jack (who is also white)were a bloody mess. We had to put the chicken out of its misery and were not prepared to butcher and all that so we learned an expensive lesson! Sigh

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