The life of a chicken farmer is never easy. Remember when my husband and I had to basically give our girls manicures? Things were going really well after that little pampering session.
But the past two weeks have been pretty brutal.
Here I am in all my scarf and hoop earring glory. I felt a little like Annie Oakley ya’ll. You can’t just leave the chicken in there, because the other chickens will start to eat her. I told my daughter to take a picture of me doing this because I was proud of myself for handling business and basically being a pilgrim of sorts. Halfway through the photo shoot, she starting screaming because an egg was halfway in and halfway out. Then, I handed the Target bag (with dead Onyx in it.) to my son to put in the big garbage can, and there was a hole in it. One of her poor little chicken legs was just hanging (and dangling) out of the bag …perfect for Toby to run after and try to grab. So, now Brody is running and swinging the bag around and Toby is chasing him and sometimes even grabbing the leg with his teeth. My daughter and I are standing there screaming. This was all before my kids even got on the bus. It was also my son’s birthday. Good times. You better believe I treated myself to a push present later. RIP Onyx.
Luckily, my pastor added her to the prayer list at church. And luckily she also has a good sense of humor. (I didn’t eat my chicken!)
The next night, whatever got Onyx wanted more, so they came back and got Pearl. I know you aren’t supposed to pick favorites (or name them…), but she was mine. She was the smallest, but the fastest and when she heard the back door open, she would come running so fast for whatever food we had. RIP Pearl.
There are many theories to what got in that night. We are thinking it could have been a raccoon, a coyote, a lioness, or even a hyena. (we use our imaginations around here.) Whatever it was (maybe even a T-Rex?) also seriously hurt Emerald. She had so many feathers and even some skin missing. You could see the muscles and tissue. This was really hard, because I knew she was going to die, and I am sure she was in so much pain. I tried really hard to tap into my intuitive powers and get her to tell me if she was hurt, but I haven’t quite mastered it yet. (you think I am joking?)
My husband and I were at a loss. (And he thinks I have lost it because I am trying to get Emerald’s spirit to speak to me.) He said he would “take care of it” when he got home. (with a shovel). I knew my sweet hubby couldn’t possibly do that, and I couldn’t let him. He is a huge animal lover. I mean, he treats Toby better than me and the kids! This has been really hard for us, but we feel like we made the right decision.
We decided to leave her out and let nature take its course She roamed around and got on the deck and even drank out of Toby’s water bowl. (He was going crazy inside when this was happening. The next morning, she was gone. I like to think that a mama owl came and got her and fed her to her little hungry owlets. RIP Emerald.
And then there were two. Amber and Opal.
It gets worse.
Remember I was talking about my pastor and her of humor. She is also really forgiving too. I mean, she kinda has to be because the Bible says so and all that. Her family came over and had Thanksgiving with us, so I pretty much ate turkey with Jesus.
Well, they are moving to Texas, and brought their 7 chickens over for us. Hooray! We were back up to 9. For two days anyway.
I came home from training a client, and Toby didn’t meet me at the back door like he usually does. I heard some rustling and went outside, and he had gotten in the Chicken’s backyard. (Yes, there is a backyard in a backyard.) All around were feathers, and lumps of dead chickens. I all but lost it. He didn’t mean to hurt them. I know it. He is just this giant, bouncy puppy and he thought they were stuffed animals that moved. Three chickens survived from the Toby Massacre. I called my husband and made him come home from work because I seriously could not even deaI. (I am saving your eyes by not posting the pictures of that horrible scene. The picture above is sweet Toby laying in Brody’s bed while he is at school. )
RIP Opal and the 5 we didn’t even get to name. We have Amber and two black and white (the Zebra twins) who are scared to death. I am basically spoon feeding them daily.
I am really glad I am including service men on our December Project 12. I am getting the garbage men all the donuts and writing the nicest thank you notes, because for two weeks there has been 1 bag of trash, and the rest dead chickens. They probably think we are some crazy voodoo family.