Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Raising Chickens

Over the years I've talked about wanting chickens. 
Just for fun,
Just as a hobby,
Just for the fresh eggs,,,,,Bonus!

So out of the blue, my husband brings me 2 baby chicks.
SO CUTE!!! (That was FEB. 2015)
I raised them in a box with a heat lamp in the house.
As they got a little bigger, I went and bought a small pen.........
I put it outside in the back yard, under a shade tree.
My husband was in Eastern Europe on a mission trip.
He was gone for 5 or 6 weeks.
When he got home, he and Robbin built me a chicken coop!
I loved it! Kind of rustic,,,,it was perfect!

So, There were my two chickens! Robbin and I had named them Dixie and Daisy.
Each one of them laid an egg a day!

Around Christmas 2015, someone left a puppy at our Church. The puppy had been there for 3 or 4 days, we decided to take him home.We needed a yard dog, we lost our Skeeter a few months earlier. He was a cutie! We named him Bandit.
Without going thru alot of details,,,,,,he was still a puppy, he would drag stuff out into the yard and tear stuff up. That really gets on my husband's nerves. But like I said, Bandit was still a puppy.

One day out of the blue, I get a call from my daughter. I was at work.  
She tells me that Bandit killed one of my chickens. 
My daughter is SO Sweet!
I know she didnt want to call ad tell me that! She went out there to the Coop and put logs all around the bottom of the Coop and in front of the door so Bandit wouldnt be able to get to my other chicken.

Some time went by, I really didnt want just 1 chicken!
 Some friends of ours who have chickens gave us 3 little chicks. 
2 black ones and one red one. (2 Australorps and a Rhode Island Red)
So here we go again.......
I raised them in that temporary pen. They finally got big enough for me to put them in the Coop with my other chicken. 
I got up one morning and I thought I heard a chicken right outside my bedroom window?????
I went out there and found my poor chickens all over the yard. 
One was already dead. The other two were just sitting there, but they were alive.
I scooped them up and brought them to my screened-in porch.
The red one didnt make it. 
So I was left with one black one. 

I kept it on the porch in the pen, It recovered nicely.

It grew and grew!! 
We quickly realized that "she" was really a "he"!!!
He started crowing every morning!!
We sure didnt want a rooster! 
Remember I wanted EGGS! and we sure didnt want to hear a rooster crowing every morning at 6am!

I actually fell in love with his crowing! I looked forward to it every morning.
Well, now it was time to go ahead and put him out there with my ONE chicken!
(She is one of my originals! "Dixie" She has survived all of this!!)
So we put him out there in the Coop and he was doing Great! 

I got up one morning and I dont hear the rooster crowing. 
I run out there and this time, it is our OTHER dog, BB,,,,she is actually INSIDE the Coop!
BB is still a puppy and she was acting like she wants to play with the rooster.
The rooster is crouched in the corner with his head buried.
I get BB out of there, I run the dogs off!!!!
We have worked and worked on the chicken coop and the dogs still seem to find a way to get inside.
I was worried about other "wild" critters getting my chickens,,,,,but I didnt think it would be my OWN dogs!!
The most recent INJURY is Bandit got a hold of my rooster.
I was walking outside to get in the car to go to work and I decided I would check on my chickens.
I looked out there towards the Coop and I saw my rooster sitting on top of the temporary pen on the outside of the Coop. His back was bright red,,,,,bloody.
My heart sank.
I ran out there.
All of the feathers on his back were gone. His beautiful tail feathers were gone. 
What was really bad was the skin was gone too,,,,,it was just bare meat exposed!!
Poor guy!
I really wasnt sure what I should do,,,,,,Should I try to save him? or should I have my husband put him down?
I put him in the pen. I gave him food and water. 
He could walk and he was drinking water and eating the food. So I thought that was a good sign.
That all happened Saturday morning. Today is Tuesday.
He is still alive. He is healing. He has 1 lonely tail feather.
I feel so bad for him. 
I've worked on the COOP SOME MORE to try to make it "dog-proof."
Lots of people, including my husband have said to get rid of the dogs! (mainly Bandit!)
Well, the thing is, my whole adult life Ive had dogs. Even as a kid,,,,,I grew up in the country, we always had dogs! 
I think I can live without chickens.......I just wanted some chickens on the side, as a hobby.
But maybe I'm not meant to have chickens,,,,,

You know one of the saddest parts of this whole story?
My rooster doesnt crow anymore. Of course, I know he was severely injured and he is recovering from that. 
I always felt like his crowing meant he was healthy and happy. 
,,,,,,,,,,and now he doesnt crow at all,,,,,,,,,,,

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