The End of an Era

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Friends, I don’t even know where to start… I’ve done too much ugly crying today and writing this post seems like the only thing that I can do now. Two-thirds of my beloved chickens are dead. Six of my beautiful hens were killed for pleasure by my neighbor’s dogs today. A rotten little Chihuahua and Dachshund came into my yard, worked together to killed my birds, and then tried to bite Thomas when he went out to chase them off.
Luckily the kids and I weren’t home at the time and Thomas had time to collect the remains and bury them. Can you imagine what it would have happened if my kids were out there, seeing all that, and then being in harm’s way?!
I went out to collect a weekend’s worth of eggs and found so many feathers. Oh, the feathers.

When Thomas initially went outside he thought that all of the chickens were dead and called to tell me. I was miserable. Hours later three hens came out of hiding. My favorite, a giant Barred Rock (black and white speckled), who was very motherly, tame, and definitely the head hen, isn’t among the survivors. Now they are confined to just their coop instead of the new run because I’m too scared to let them out.

The hens liked to lay behind a big scrap board that is propped against the barn. I moved the board to collect the eggs and was horrified to find blood covered eggs in their nest. One of the girls must have tried to hide there before being chased out again. I lost it when I found those bloody eggs. I tried so hard to give them a happy chicken life, but knowing that it all ended in terror makes me feel sick.

I painted a little chicken (from nail polish) to commemorate their grave.

There you have it. My little heart hurts. I know they were just chickens but they were my chickens and I sure did love them. Who knew poultry would make such good pets?

Thanks for letting me bawl on your shoulder.

PS. I actually called animal control after the dogs were chasing a little girl home from school later in the day, and they came and picked them up. The owners haven’t been home yet and don’t even know what happened. I’ll be surprised if they say anything to us though, but I’ll let you all know how things go down.

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  1. Sandy McElroy says:

    I’m so sorry about your beloved little hens. They were not just chickens. They were living creatures that you loved. Bless your heart for caring❤️

  2. xpinkex says:

    Oh, bless you. I cried reading your post.

    One of my most traumatic childhood memories was having my parakeet killed by the family cat when the cat was accidentally freed from the room we had put her in to let the bird out. It was Halloween and I was around 7 or 8 years old. I frantically called for the bird as he flew around in a panic (he was trained to come when called) only to be heartbroken as the cat pounced as soon as he landed on a chair. It was so hard not to hate our cat for killing him, but as I grew up I realized it is just what cats do by instinct.

    I hope your neighbors compensated you somehow, that was unconscionable to have their dogs on the loose like that.

  3. kenda stuart says:

    I had the same experience but my neighbors half wolf,half mutt killed my rooster and 3 hens. Luckily my favorite hen had just started sitting and in the coop. I gathered the eggs I had from the day and placed them under her. I now have three reminders of what my hens and rooster were.

  4. Diane says:

    I know this is an old post, but I just ended up here through your caramel dip recipe post (via Pinterest) (thanks! and I pinned it). I know how much it hurts to lose pets/animals in such a senseless way. Many years ago, when a dog got my rabbit out of its run during the night (the lid wasn’t secure and I didn’t realize the danger), chased it to the woods and killed it, I cried for three days. Not continuously, of course, but–I just couldn’t get over it. I finally had to pray and ask God to help me, and He did. I had invested so much of myself in the rabbit, because it had health problems, and it was so sweet and responsive to me (unlike the others who didn’t give a hoot) that I felt I had completely failed my friend in a really stupid way. I was always calling the pound when I saw roaming dogs, and it used to be a big problem in my neighborhood. If I had seen this one, I probably would have beat it!

    Anyway, I just wanted to add that my dad grew up on a ranch, where of course they had chickens, cows, dogs, etc. and if any of their dogs ever killed a chicken, they would immediately have to shoot the dog. He said it was known that if a dog got a “taste for blood” like that, they would forever be a problem, and they couldn’t afford to let it live. So I hope your neighbor’s dogs will stay contained and that your chickens and other animals will stay secure!

    1. Melissa says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comments and send your love (even on an old post). It sounds like you really understand just how hard that was for our family. And I’m so sorry to hear about your rabbit too. Thanks for stopping in and make that caramel, it’s so good to dip pretzels in 😉

    2. Diane says:

      Thanks for replying! Yes, I certainly do understand. And I’m so tenderhearted that I can’t even stand to see my cat catch a mouse. Oh well–this is the world we live in. I’m looking forward to a better one!

      I will try your caramel and keep an eye on your blog! Already got lost in your remodeling post and your “best of 2013” recipes. =)

  5. amy hines says:

    I am so sorry wow!