Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another Loss

Last night my husband went to put the chickens up and found Little Red was missing. He came back in and grabbed a flashlight to search for her. He found her, no injuries, lots of feathers on the ground and something lodged in her throat. We are not exactly sure what happened.

Little Red was our favorite. She was the friendliest, bravest, curious chicken we ever had. She would be the first to come to me when I went in the yard. She would sit on our laps if we sat down. She even played with our cat. She will be greatly missed, more than all the other chickens. 

Our Little Red

This morning my husband went to let the chickens out and looked over their yard to pick up anything that could hurt the chickens. We try really hard to keep our chickens safe.

We live in a small rural town. We thought living in town there wouldn't be so many safety issues for our chickens. We were mistaken. 

Hazards we have faced with our chickens are:
  • Predators—raccoons, skunks, foxes
  • Choking hazards—broken glass and garbage blown into the yard, toys from curious kids, bones from meat and the worst, string from the feed bags.
  • Chickens getting lose and running the streets
  • Pet dogs trying to play with the chickens
Remedies to lessen the hazards have been:
  • Six foot fence around the chicken yard and our yard—they "free-range" in our back yard sometimes
  • Chicken wire 18" from the bottom of the fence buried down into the ground—keeps critters from digging under and getting in.
  • New chicken house
  • Scanning the back yard regularly for choking hazards
  • Making sure our dogs aren't out in the yard alone with the chickens. 
  • Checking the old fence periodically to make sure no new openings for chickens to get out and run the streets—This has happened and thankfully we have nice neighbors who herded Little Red back in and one who called to let my husband know she was out. 

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