We’d had a beautiful day. It was unseasonably warm at 17C in the middle on winter. We had spent the whole day in the sunshine gardening and grooming Dandy the English Angora who is going through his moult early. Blossoms were stating to show and we were feeling spring coming along.
We decided around 2 oclock to treat the children and go to a waterside playground about 20 mins away and then have a early dinner out nearby.
This is a rare occurrence for us we are generally disappointed when we eat out because we love cooking and have high standards but it felt like that kind of day and we had the savings so it wouldn’t put us out.
After feeding and watering the chooks we checked the electric fence was on and headed out. The kids had such a lovely time at the park in the sunshine and were really happy and behaved well at the restaurant.
We were only gone 2 hours but what we came home to will sit with us for a long time.
I opened the gate and found a note tucked into it. Dane had already driven up the back to the turning circle as I read.
” Don’t take the kids up the back the dogs got in”
Dane came round a look of horror on his face parked the car , jumped out and ran. I ran too leaving the kids strapped in the car. What we were faced with was our electric fence knocked down and the neighbors huskies who I had mentioned were getting into our yard in a previous post. They were standing over the bodies of eight of our beloved chooks. Dane started yelling at them and one started snarling at him eventually deciding to bolt ,while the other fled through the front gate.
The neighbor was not home nor have we heard from him in the hours since.
I went to break the news to the Children. Nyah 5 let out a primal scream of devastation that her beloved chicken Lemons who she’s bonded with in the summer was gone. Her tears continued through the evening and she is still feeling it this morning.
Dane collected the bodies which we put in a safe place (so the dogs who returned to our yard yet again last night could not eat them ) We called council who said they would come out this morning to take photos and insect the yard. Apparently no one in the valley is registered to have 4 dogs as you need to be classed as a kennel and as we have young children it is dangerous that they continue to come into our yard.
We feel so angry and upset we foresaw this we tried for weeks to get him to do something on his side of the fence to stop them while we did all we could on our side. We’d already fixed the fence, bought electric fence and checked the chooks regularly. They were not just livestock they were our family some of whom we had brought from interstate with us.
We lost eight of our twelve chooks
Rosemary the Faverolle rooster died defending his girls
Cher the first chick we ever hatched who taught us so much about poultry keeping and was the smallest but top of the pecking order
Ginger one of the Maran twins who layed big beautiful brown eggs. It took us 5 years to get Marans and her sister Pears survived and is lost and lonely
Fire Cracker a special one indeed she was the daughter of Cher and Bear the first chickens we’d hatched. Firecracker would go broody 4 times a year and was a fierce mother who fluffed up like a turkey if you went near her chicks.
Goldie the weird Wyandotte was also lost. She had really interesting lacing and the wrong comb but came from our pure bred lines when we bred interstate .
And then there were three. Minty our least favourite chicken who seemed really stupid but now I wonder if we hadn’t given her enough credit. She is a Olive egger and was hiding in the Nesting box. Pears also must have been hiding in there and Bendy our last Brahma was in isolation in another coop for some rest as she was having trouble keeping up with the flock. I have dubbed the trio Destinys Child as they are the surviours and it feels poignant that we had 3 chooks in the beginning of our journey to homesteading and now have 3 when we are at a crossroads.