Our recent UPDATE is at the bottom.
We love chickens. Here’s the story as simply as I can write it.
My bestie bought a bunch of chicks and I decided my family should do it too because it’s so easy and fun.
- We bought 6 specialty chicks: 3 Lavender Orpingtons and 3 Light Sussex. Oh yeah, we bought them during a camping trip.
- We finally built them a coop and everybody was happy. And alive.
- Mr. Sexy sent me a picture of two beautiful dogs. They were free. They came to visit for the first time and smelled the scent. They ran through the small open coop door and trampled 4 pullets to death.
- The dogs came to live with us a few days later. They were untrained and we didn’t have a ton of time to spend training them.
Oh yeah, around the same time we got two free kittens to raise as barn cats.
- We purchased 2 laying hens, 2 pullets and got a free rooster.
One morning our new dogs didn’t come after exploring all night. We let the chickens out of the coop anyways. Mr. Sexy went to work and I left until lunch. When I got home I saw a large pile of red feathers far off in the distance and no happy hens or pullets running around per usual.
- We then purchased 2 pullets, got 2 coach hens for free and another free rooster.
- Weeks later we woke up on a Saturday morning to find Rue had deviously gotten himself into the coop run and the coop itself. Upon further investigation we found Rue with QC, dead in his mouth and the rest dead in the coop.
- Rue and his partner in crime, Atlas, were gone two days later via the free section on Craigslist.
- A few weeks later we purchased 4 pullets and found another free rooster. His name is Gandalf the Grey. He is my favorite rooster.
It has been a few months and all chickens are alive, happy and well. In fact, Mr. Sexy is their favorite person.
UPDATE: January 29, 2015
This past weekend I went away with some girl friends (not that this fact has anything to do with what happened). Mr. Sexy went into the coop one of these mornings to find three of our beloved hens dead. There were no signs of abuse. It appeared that they had simply fallen over. Dead. Very dead. The only remaining hen was the ugly one and we didn’t even know what breed she was turning out to be. Gandalf was still alive, of course.
A few days later Mr. Sexy found our last chicken fallen over dead like her sisters. Still Gandalf remains happy and alive.
We didn’t notice anything unusual in their behaviors and what happened is still a bit of a mystery. However we do think they had some sort of air borne disease and perhaps didn’t spend enough time outside (not that we were purposefully keeping them cooped up – they were still learning the ways of the outdoors) to help them clear it out. Not that we are experts in this sort of thing. Our laundry room and our coop used to be one big room and it’s actually connected to our house as a later addition. So Mr. Sexy built a wall for the coop and then went to work on the laundry room. He tore out a bunch of walls which ended up being a very nasty job landing Mr. Sexy with a major cough. We realize now that perhaps the chickens had some of the same issues….
Also, apparently it’s weird to only buy a handful of chicks at a time like we have been doing. So, while I’m ready to give up on this chicken business, Mr. Sexy is determined. We will buying a lot of chicks at some point in the next few months and trying AGAIN with this business. By a lot we are thinking 20. Too many? I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out.
Disclaimer: We loved all our animals dearly. However, we admit we didn’t always make the smartest choices. Lessons have been learned all the way around. I’m sure there will be more lessons along the way as we have yet to have any regularly laying hens.