Monday, September 19, 2011

A Sad Loss & The Great Chicken Massacre Of 2011

Before I begin to share the horrible story of our chicken massacre, I must first share the story of another sad loss.  The bond between a man and his dog can't be understood by someone who hasn't ever seen it.  Neither can the value of a great hunting dog be summed up in dollar amount.  And when the dog is both man's best friend and a great hunting companion....the loss takes quite the toll on even a strong man's heart.  Tommy buried his best dog this week so let me take a moment to share pictures of Rawhide Ridge Jack who will be greatly missed.

And now onto the next sad story, unfortunately.  The chickens.  My sweet little chickens that we've raised since they were just little peeps.  I made the decision to set them free onto our land, to close back up in the chicken house at night.  Free during the day and safe from the coyotes at night.  So after Aiden went on to school, Gracie and I made our way outside to accomplish this great mission!

We were so proud, and as you can tell, the chickens were pretty proud themselves.  It took a few moments of uncertainty and then they stepped out in their mighty move of bravery!  Free at last, free at last.....

And then perhaps my most horrible homesteading moment of all....the butchering began.  It was unplanned, unintentional, and once the damage began, there was little I could do.  So people, learn from my a much better, much more thoughtful job at this than I.  The culprit?  Dogs that weren't restrained well enough and the two didn't mix this sad day!  And now, I have only 7 chickens left (counting the duck that believes he is a chicken himself).  And yes, I'm grateful that it's at least this many as I originally thought the damage was even greater.

I got mad, I got sad, I blamed everything I could come up with and then the truth set it.  It was my fault, an oversight, and lack of proper planning.  So it is what it is but at least I'll know better next time.

Before pictures for my winter garden.  The grass is already down from what it was just a few days prior.  And with the proper equipment, it will be down low enough and ready to till any day now.  That equipment would be none other than some hungry cows!  Thank you sir and madam's for your services! 

And with that, we'll carry on into this new week.  I look forward to the smell of freshly tilled ground and the hope in planting new seeds.  The cooler weather is a relief and the itch to decorate for fall has officially set in.  It's really too bad concerning the loss of Jack and so many chickens for no good reason at all.  But what else is there to do but carry on and look to the next steps of fall and the excitement of another harvest? 


  1. Oh, I'm so sorry. :( There is so much trial and error on this homesteading journey, isn't there?

  2. So sorry to hear about your week and the losses :-( Would it help to know that we've all made homesteading mistakes that cost lives (I'm thinking of my bees to start with!)? Not to devalue the lives of the animals in the least... just to say, homesteading can be hard and the learning curve at times can be steep. Carry on Busy Mama! Even the mistakes are valuable lessons!

  3. We've had issues at our house too. It's a live and learn thing. Our dog killed one of chickens the first time they were out. It sounds awful but my husband beat the dog with the dead chicken. The dog has never touched them since. Since then we have changed and the chickens stayed fenced. Our chickens were laying eggs all over the farm and that wasn't any fun. After a chicken laid an egg on the tractor seat and hubby sat in it, the chickens were sentenced to a life fenced in except for Sundays....


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