Monday, March 17, 2014

A Great Loss

Last week I came home to find 6 dead chooks.. Not just any chooks- but 3 of which I had incubated and raised and as tame as my pet dogs and cats.. It was a horrendous day and not one which I wish to ever repeat. Next doors dog had dug under the fence and gone on a a killing spree. I only found 6 bodies- the remaining 20+ were no where to be seen. As the hours passed, and many many tears, chooks and chicks started appearing. They had hidden under the house, in the garden around my yard, there were some in my neighbours yards on both sides. Some took a whole night and day to come home( awaiting the call of of its mother to say it was safe to return) 

I was lost. One chook that had been so savagely attacked yet survived I had to destroy it. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done. This one was a mum. She was a lovely chook. It seemed those which were attacked and killed were the tamest of the bunch. They didnt know to fear a dog. 
We have here 3 dogs, and 2 cats which none have ever showed any interest or desire to kill the chooks. The cats often sit by the fence or even in the yard with the chooks!

Luckily I have Great neighbours and friends who came to my rescue. The offending dog is no longer in the property next door. My husband rang the owner and told him to remove it asap. I am such an animal lover but that dog is lucky I didnt kill it. I was so angry, so in shock & disbelief. Next port of call would have been the ranger to have the dog destroyed. Should I see the dog again I will not hesitate to call him.

I have to write this as a matter of fact. I am still so shaken about it all. These chickens are my calm place.Some of you would have seen the chooks as babies- the many pictures I've posted. Some of you may know how badly this has affected me. I've been a very proud mumma of all my babies!They are not just a feathered bird to me. Like all my animals they are family members and very much loved.

Last night one last chook- Elvis died. She had also been attacked but after discussion with a vet it was decided she may have made a recovery. In spite of my efforts she passed away. So, that leaves me with about 15. Amazingly 5 babies came out of hiding, my rooster, 1 incubated chook survived and 9 others.
I do feel lucky that so many survived, especially when I think that had I not come home and caught the dog in the yard they all may have died. But still, it doesn't feel like any sort of consolation. Death is not pretty and this was a massacre.

This came after also losing my pet cockatiel this past month (from a respiratory infection) so I'm feeling very vulnerable.

I now feel the need the distance myself a little from the chooks. It's so bloody hard when something like this completely out of your control happens. There's nothing I can do about it. Death is final and obviously gets one thinking about all things. But, please keep your fingers crossed for me that this is the last of death I should have to see for quite a while. I need some positivity and all things good for now :)

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