It was a bloodbath. I arrived home Friday afternoon to an emotional scene. Autumn and Charlotte, each with a garden rake in hand, were standing guard over a stray dog who was locked in one of our chicken pens. The chickens were nowhere to be found. Oh, except for the two dead hens who were laying in piles of bloody feathers.
After calls to the Sheriff’s office and Heartland Humane, I realized no one was coming for this dog. Autumn and Charlotte left shortly after I arrived, as Charlotte had to compete in the state archery meet in Des Moines later that day.
So, I was left with two dead hens, several missing chickens, a wild dog, and four children who had just witnessed some serious carnage. Yes, it was shaping up to be another relaxing weekend.
I didn’t want to just open the pen and run the dog off because I was certain he would find the chickens in hiding. I went inside to feed the kids and calm them down, and do a little thinking. I decided to head back out and just make sure the pen holding the dog was secure. As long as I could keep him isolated, I could then hunt down the chickens and secure them in another pen.
As I approached the pen, I could not see the dog. I assumed he must be laying down. As I peered through the chicken wire, my heart jumped out of my chest. With a loud, deep, angry bark, the dog announced himself as he came barreling towards me. I jumped into the chicken pen and slammed the door behind me.
He blew right past me in hot pursuit of our fat little Bantam hen who was moving faster than I had ever seen her move. I jumped out of the pen and started yelling at the dog as I banged a baseball bat and t-post together above my head. It distracted the killer just long enough for Cosmo to find a hiding spot.
As it turned out, the dog had simply dug under the fence to free himself.
To make a long story short, it took me several hours to finally run the dog off. In the meantime, I would keep my eyes peeled for chickens wandering out of their hiding spots. One by one, I would sprint out and grab each hen and then lock them up in a secure pen.
By the end of that day, I realized, that besides the two dead hens, there was one more missing.
Between the three hens, I imagine we just lost about 3,000 eggs. That’s 250 dozen. At $3/dozen for farm fresh eggs, the owner of that dog owes me $750.
That should be more than enough to cover the cost of a used shot gun.