The Coop Scoop

Chicken run


Ya’ll may think this one is a little ridiculous, but here goes nothing.

I love my chickens. Chicken farming is the most random form of agriculture I could have ever chosen, but after I started caring for the chickens that the original home owners left behind, I got attached! I went from having three chickens, down to two, now to eight (don’t worry, eight is the max).

So the math on that is:

3 chickens + 1 dog = 2 chickens + 1 trip to tractor supply = 8 chickens…you get the picture. image1

So when tragedy struck my coop a while back in the form of a blue merle Australian shepherd named Gus, I thought I had diffused the situation accordingly (Gus is my dog, and apparently a murderer. Just when you think you know someone, am I right?). I was so upset. I felt like I let one of my flock down. Gertrude was killed and Patsy and Felipe were de-feathered. The two survivors were trauma stricken, to say the least. They were terrified and nekkid when I found them hiding behind a piece of sheet metal when I got home from work. On top of it all, one of their friends was killed by my murderous dog. I wanted another chicken and was determined to get another one for the sake of the pecking order.

I went to Tractor Supply the next day. They had the water troughs full of baby chicks- yes, the ones you couldn’t resist when you were five, or 25, or whatever. So, I brought home six chicks. Now, before you go labeling me the coo-coo chicken lady, just know that they wouldn’t let me buy any less. Even if they would have I would have most assuredly brought home six anyways.

From then on I made Gus and our new dog, Dude, come with me to feed the chickens, clean the coop, and spend time with them. I thought I had gotten the dogs warmed up to the chickens in a friendly manner. I found out the hard way, twice, that dogs and chickens make friends about as easily as vultures and roadkill. Chickens are basically living on borrowed time when dogs are around.

Luckily, after the Martin Ranch Chicken Massacre of 2016, no more chickens have been killed. But, some feathers were ruffled today when Clint accidentally let the dogs out while the chickens were out. It took .325 seconds for me to realize that this small mistake could turn into a pillow stuffing fiasco. Sure enough, when I walked outside it was raining feathers.

Like I said, no chickens were killed this time. But poor Patsy got a chunk taken out of her rear and Felipe was terrified in the corner on the outside of the coop. I had one brave chick who remained by Felipe’s side the entire time his tail feathers were getting chomped at. Meanwhile, five (apparently smarter) of the chickens ran up inside the coop where the dogs couldn’t reach them.

I mourned with Felipe for a minute. He and Patsy had already been through this once before. All is well now, but tomorrow I’m going to offer up some rotten tomatoes from my garden as a peace offering.

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