Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stressed-Out Chickens

Gosh, I've been gone for a while. My only excuse is every excuse - the kids, the dogs, the chickens, the garden, the kitchen, my daughter's 4th birthday, and a new baking business. I'm going to try to do better, though! Is anyone still reading? Was anyone reading to begin with?

Right now I am worried about the chickens! Something has been sneaking in at night and killing them. I think we've lost 8 now. It's so sad and feels like a bit of a violation. It's also disgusting and disturbing when I'm the one who makes the discovery and I have to remove the evidence before the kids are mentally scarred. My husband keeps adding reinforcements and the predator keeps outsmarting the chicken house. The remaining chickens are obviously having some emotional issues and have really decreased egg production. I don't blame them, I couldn't cook dinner if my friends' body parts were being strewn around my kitchen. Ew, sorry if that visual was a bit too... visual. Last night M and I were up until midnight after I discovered another dead chicken when I went out to check before going to bed. We decided to chain up one of our dogs to hopefully scare the predator away, and we didn't have any more problems last night -- Except that our other dog had a breakdown without her buddy and ended up attacking the locked garage door so that they could be together. Things I never knew would be the subject of my conversations: stressed-out chickens and lonely dogs.

On a much happier note, the incubator in the laundry room has been chirping again! A week ago I would have said we don't need any more chickens, but now I guess I'm glad for the circle of life. It's just too darn cute to see those little chicks hatch, not to mention the thrill on my kids' faces every time they see it happen! My daughter keeps a stool next to the incubator so she can watch the eggs' progress, and my son claps and yells "Hatch!!!" every time he hears a chirp. Here are some adorable chick pics to hold you over until next time... and next time I will hopefully be able to report no more lost lives!
 within minutes of hatching

 About a week old 
(this one had perfect Easter timing!)