Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Our Chicks--a Sad Tale
We also finished the chicken tractor. My husband adapted an old swing set.
The chicks liked the chicken tractor okay, but they really loved free ranging. The first night wasn't so great, though, with us running after them, trying to catch them to put them away.
We read up about how to put chicks away and the next night turned on their light early, had treats ready, and had a big red rake to herd them. We went out, and they were all in the coop already. We thought they were brilliant. Well, almost. There's a reason there's a term 'bird brain.'
The following day we put them in the chicken tractor for awhile, but it was so hard to catch them. We hoped they would be hard for predators to catch too. We left them for awhile free ranging, and they did just fine. They stayed close to the coop, went under things when they felt threatened, and headed into the coop if they spotted a hawk.
I felt good about them free ranging, having their freedom, being tough and strong birds. But I also figured we might lose one or two, so we made plans for my husband to get three more from town today while he was doing errands.
Then calamity struck. It was not a good chicken day. This morning my brother shared news that all ten of their chicks had disappeared. I felt so sad for them.
This afternoon when I got home I saw our three chicks were doing fine and smiled to myself. Seeing them peck the ground, eating all those ants made me happy. (I sure enjoy it when the simple things of life make me happy!)
We went inside for a bit, and not half an hour later I went out to check on the chicks. I went over to the coop and found just one. Not a good sign. Then our dog brought one up to the front steps, dead, in plain sight of the kids and me and our friends. The other one was still missing, and I figured its chances were slim to none. While the kids hunted for it, I called my husband to tell him to pick up some extras, but he told me that the two places that had chickens had stopped selling them. They could order 25 for us. We're not ready for 25.
We're not sure what we're going to do at this point. Hopefully those of you reading this who have chickens have much happier stories! And if you don't have chickens, we hope you have better luck than us if you ever get them.