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wait, make that eight

November 9, 2012

I posted last Friday that we lost another chicken, but the reduced flock of 12 seemed

to be getting into a groove.  We moved all of them to one side of the coop, and six on

a roost at night worked well.  They were far enough away from each other to not feel

crowded, yet close enough to keep each other warm.


Regrettably, I have to change that number.  We’ve lost four more.


I couldn’t find Gilda at bed check Monday night.  A hasty search in the waning light and

a thorough search the next morning yielded nothing.  We still haven’t found her body.

Most likely she escaped the garden and got nailed by a raptor.  There are still a few

openings in the overhead netting due to the greenhouse construction.


Then Wednesday afternoon, when I was still abuzz with Obama’s triumph, I went out

with Slinkee to gather more eggs. The girls had been out since mid-morning, but there

didn’t seem to be enough of them around.


I found Minelli, katy and Twyla close to each other in a corner of the garden, all at the

base of the netting.  Slinkee had been out alone earlier.  She apparently bit their heads,

breaking their necks, as they fed along the fenceline.


The hens will sometimes stick their heads through the netting to feed, making them easy

prey.  All three bodies were just inside the fence, though.  Slinkee must have bitten them

through the net.


As distressed as I was, I didn’t want to wring the dog’s neck, like I did the day she got

under the netting in the blueberry grove and killed kate and Justine.  She doesn’t get

it and she never will.


From now on, Slinkee can go out alone only when the girls are safely in the coop.  All

other times she has to be on a leash or chained up.  It bothers me greatly to limit such

a high-spirited animal, but she has seven confirmed kills and a possible eighth.


We’ve bought 21 chickens and lost 13 of them.  It’s difficult to build an egg business

with so much personnel fluctuation.  Jude and I had been considering another dog

because Slinkee is starting to show her age.  Those plans, however, are shelved until

Slinkee dies.  We can’t risk her teaching a new dog her old tricks.

  1. Gordon permalink
    November 9, 2012 10:08 am

    This is increasingly sounding like a job for NCIS (National Chicken Investigative Services).

    • November 10, 2012 10:18 am

      That’s what those initials stand for?

  2. Inveterate Teacher permalink
    November 11, 2012 8:46 am

    Re: the difficulties encountered trying to egg a business on (or accomplish anything worthwhile): “The only easy day was yesterday.” That’s the motto of the Navy Seals, I just learned, and which I quite like. Thinking of you here on this Veterans’ Day.

    • November 12, 2012 11:06 am

      Thank you, young lady. TTYS.

  3. November 12, 2012 5:23 pm

    Oh my goodness, that is tragic news. I am sorry to say that Slinkee has the taste of chicken blood. She is addicted and will forever more seek and destroy, maim and kill. Only a puppy raised with the chickens can be trained and then they are still not trust worthy,
    After the election the other night my computer crashed. I just got it out of the shop. It was a month and 4 days old. Thankfully I have a good warranty.
    But I was sure bored.
    I am entertaining myself with a book on King Tut. Amazing what a little boredom will have me doing, but actually I am really interested in the book. James Patterson is the author, King Tut is the name and it is told in a 3 part narrative basically. From Howard Carter’s early days then back to Tuts history and then present day. It goes back and forth and I am tempted to shut down the computer and go back and read some more. Have a great evening.

    • November 13, 2012 9:39 am

      It seems like she just kills them for the sport. She did eviscerate one of them, but didn’t eat any of her. Jude and I talked about getting some more, but it looks like we’ll just try to get the remaining eight through the winter and take it from there. Slinkee’s slowing down, but she’ll likely never give up the chase. Is the book you’re reading an e-book or bound?

  4. November 14, 2012 10:55 am

    Good old paper back fashion on the book. So sorry to hear of Slinkee killing for the sport, but an old chicken farmer once told me that when they get the taste for chicken blood then that’s it. They are forever ruined. My dog killed several of his when he told me of this.
    Good luck with the ones you still have over the winter. I hope all goes well.

    • November 16, 2012 11:15 am

      The remaining eight seem to be adjusting, but their egg production has dropped off. I don’t know how chickens cope with trauma, but likely they saw Slinkee kill the other three.

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