When I got up this morning, I poured my coffee, and then went to let the chickens out. Upon my return I sat to read my email, and then went back to the kitchen for my second cup. Cup in hand I went to the dining room window, as I often do, to survey the morning and to look in on the hennies…
I am staring and not comprehending what I see. I thought OH NO, Black Bart finally killed off Mr. Maran and there he is just laying there on his back. Then it hit me, there were feathers everywhere and more bodies… and I slowly realized that the culprits were still there!
KILLER DOGS IN THE HENHOUSE!
I was so upset that I jumped into my Wellingtons and ran out the door in my jammys and robe to chase the blankety-blank chicken killers out of my chicken yard. On the way I picked up a large section of PVC pipe and lit into the nearest dog, Cornering her I whopped her several times and just kept up this nonsensical litany of cursing until Bob came over and pulled me off.
In retrospect I think of Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he finally gets fed up with the red headed bully and throttles him. Except I am a 56 year old woman in her fuzzy robe, woolly pixie cap and Wellingtons, who happens to be trying to beat the stuffing out of a dog a six o’clock in the morning. Not a pretty sight. (Though one friend said it was hysterical to picture.)
Still in a rage I pick up my dead chickens and stomping away, mind you still in the jammies etc., I took the poor dead things down the road and around the corner to see the owners of the dogs…
Dropping them on the porch I proceeded to lean into the doorbell hoping to wake them up and give them a piece of my mind. When they finally answered I asked (shouted actually) “Would you like chicken for breakfast? Well your dogs sure did!!!”
They said: “How do you know they are our dogs?”
I told them, “I followed them here.”
They counter: “What did they look like?”
I describe the dogs in detail, right down to the chewed off leash the big one was wearing.
It is at this moment that they realize there is a pile of dead chickens on their porch, and begin to gape and cringe. I turn on my heal to leave, I had said all I meant to say, and head for home.
I am very upset. Five little hennies are dead and Grayson is GONE! I find another carcass and turn to see the owner of the killer dogs coming my way. He is seeing the feathers everywhere and apologizing profusely.
He says, “I am going to take the dogs to the pound. We are sick and tired of them always getting out, no matter what we do, and we are getting rid of them, I promise!” He went on to say that he would pay us for the chickens. I told him I would have to think on it.
Now knowing what pullets cost because I am raising pullets to sell, I want to charge them full price. I later found out that the replacement cost is 18.00 ea. for good laying hens, more than pullets for Heavens sake, and I think , “I know they can’t afford $90.00.”
The adrenaline is flatlining and now I am just sad. Sad because I lost my hennies. Sad because I had finally got to a place where selling their eggs was paying their food costs. And very sad because the little boys around the corner just lost their dogs. Chicken killers or no, that has to hurt. I will have to pray about this, and weather you can understand it or not, I feel the need to apologize to them for the dead bodies I left on their porch. I was in rare form for so early in the morning. I mean, just try to imagine what it must have been like to see an old lady on your front porch, at six in the AM, ranting about the pile of dead chickens she has deposited there for you to deal with.
Oh, and I almost forgot! I found Grayson about an half an hour later. He was in the neighbors yard hiding in the shrubberies. I scooped him up and placed him into the chicken run. We are both glad he is home and safe!
RIP Little Hennies
A few of you asked for an update. Well, after giving it much thought I have decided to only ask for the money it costs to replace the chickens with new baby chicks. I know that I could have gotten 18 to 22 dollars a bird but new babies are under $3 ea. I realize that I am losing out on the egg sales that fed them, but then there are less beaks to feed. I realize that it was a big hit to the freezer and meal planning too, but we will not starve.
So in the end I see it this way: I will have a new bunch of babies to raise. They are simply darling, and that makes up for everything! And yes, I will be posting baby pictures when they arrive.
So you’ve wondered, “What does a fashionable ‘Mad Chicken Lady’ wear out on a cold morning?”
Well remember, normally at the crack of dawn its just me and the chicks, and they don’t care what I look like.
They just want out to eat.
Um, does this outfit make me look fat?
(Fire away, cuz I’m already ducking for cover!)