Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Horror in the backyard

Yesterday morning I received a text from a neighbour who has chickens.  Apparently their chicken gate wasn't closed properly the night before and a dog had gotten in and killed all 6 of them.

I was so glad I'd shut our chooks away that night, because sometimes we leave them to sleep wherever they like.  Probably a bit stupid being in the country with the possibility of foxes and feral cats or whatever.

Well, later that day I was in the garden pulling weeds (seriously, that is not my favourite job!) and I noticed a visiting dog in our back neighbours' yard.  I assumed that they knew about it and were trying to get this beautiful Husky to mate with their Labrador (or maybe she's a golden retriever - I'm not sure of the difference).

Our little male, Frankie, was not happy to have this Husky hanging around.  I mean, he thinks that yard is his as well, so to have a strange male dog hanging about (and I'm pretty sure he thinks Chloe is his girlfriend) was making him cranky.  The two of them were having a pee contest all over the fence too!  Ew!

After quite a while (at least half an hour, maybe even an hour) the Husky suddenly jumped the fence and attacked our silky chook.  Thankfully the Big Fella was around and chased the Husky away before it got our other chooks as well, but I watched my poor Silky stumble for about 30 seconds before collapsing and dying.

I know it's just a chicken, but honestly, watching that was horrific.  Silky, although she'd been quite shy of us, had become part of our family and it was awful to see her go like that.

The Little Big Fella had heard the commotion and come outside to see what was going on.  He saw Silky and knew that something wasn't quite right.  I explained to him that the dog had attacked her and that she was dead - her life was all gone.

You know, he amazes me, that child.  He accepted it.  Just like that.  It wasn't that he didn't care or understand either, he just accepted it.

The dog was collected by its owner a little later.  Apparently it gets out often and has attacked chooks before.  There's a bit I could say about responsible pet ownership but we'll leave that one alone for today.  Suffice for now to say that he offered to replace the chickens (ours and our neighbours').

The whole incident makes me very wary about letting our chooks roam free in our yard though.  But I don't want them to be locked up in their area all the time either (as nice as it is).  I guess we just have to gamble and hope that they'll be safe!

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