Okay, it’s Kristin here again. I feel as though there are more things to share about our chickens in the city.
As I last wrote, we did our research. We did our homework. And things went splendidly for a while. They did.
Our chickens were happy, hanging out in our yard and returning to the chicken run at the end of the day. They were hard to miss. People stopped by and asked us questions about them. Neighbors handed us beets that they’d heard were nutritious and good for chickens. We gladly accepted and struck up conversations with people we hadn’t even met before in our little neighborhood.
We were not the first people in our neck of the woods to have had chickens, our friend Becky and her family had some when we first moved into our home a couple years ago.She and her husband and kiddos (and chickens) have since moved away. It was time for someone else to share the love in our little “hood”. She helped pave the way for a chicken-friendly neighborhood. It’s a thing. I’ve decided.
So, as I was saying, the neighborhood embraced the chickens.
Chickens can FLY.
I know I knew that. I did. But, I was shocked at the sight when I first saw one of our birds take flight over our fence.
If you recall, from my previous post, I am decidedly not an animal person. And, the thought of chasing down a chicken as it crossed the street (so help me, it’s true, they cross streets!!) was less than appealing to me.
My sons chased the chickens for the most part, gathering them in their arms and bringing them back into the refines of our fence.
We clipped their feathers.
They still flew.
These chickens had Olympic games as they jumped/hurdled/flew over our fence.
Sadly, neighbors were not the only ones handling our chickens. One day last fall, as I was heading into the basement, I happened to look out the window and see a dog.
I stopped in my tracks.
I looked again.
Yes, that was a dog.
In my pajamas, I raced outside and saw the first victim lying on the ground in front of our herb garden. The dog had a second chicken in it’s mouth and dropped it once I screamed at it.
Now, I’m not a fan of cleaning chicken poop off the patio, but these chickens did grow on me and I was so upset. I was nearly frantic. I had no idea how this dog had gotten into our yard in the first place and I had absolutely no clues as to how to get it back out.
Thankfully, a woman in her pajamas screaming and crying at a dog garners attention. A gentleman from across the street who was doing some construction work came to my aid and held the dog as we scrambled the other two chickens back into their coop for safety.
I was shaking. I was crying. As I sit here, I can still see that dog “playing” with our chickens. Uff-tah. It was awful.
The dog was returned to the owner and we made some tough decisions: 1. No more chickens besides the two we still have. We didn’t want to upset the ones still living and we knew that we would be short on space because 2. The chickens needed to stay in a run. We extended the chicken run and have kept them in there since the incident for their safety.
People still stop and feed our chickens, but they are nestled in the back now, away from sight from dogs or other animals who may decide to play with them again.
Beth wrote a great article of how Livestock=Deadstock. She was right. She usually is.
I have no regrets. I am still glad we have them, and I loved that they wandered our yard for as long as they did. But, they need to stay in the run now for their safety and I have peace with that.
We get one egg from each of them a day. And our garden is thriving because of the fertilizer, as are our fruit trees.
Plus, we love anything that brings more neighbors to our yard.