Okay, I have 15 new chickens. Well I had 15 new chickens. This morning I have 14.
Chickens hate to have their routines messed with. If you move their coop five feet, the girls will go to where the coop had been and circle and cluck. You can just hear them. “I swear, Maude! It was right here. Where could it have gone? Oh no! Where are we going to sleep tonight. WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!” For three days, I have to move them one by one those last five feet until they finally realize it’s their coop after all.
So, you can imagine that moving chickens from one city to another is pretty jolting for the girls. And indeed, I was outside late last night, chasing birds around and around their new coop. A few managed to recognize the ramp to the door–it’s very similar to their previous ramp, thank heavens. I thought I had them all inside. I counted noses, or rather beaks, and came up with 15. What I hadn’t realized is my last little Buckeye girl (she’s a sweet three-year-old bird and I’ll miss her when she’s gone), had decided to join the new flock. That meant one of the new Buckeyes was out and I didn’t know it.
Moosie did. Now, Moosie’s a great dog with courage twice his size and the ability to use it. I’m not sure if it’s the bear-hunting Akita part of him, or the fighting-dog Sharpei, but he’s fast as the wind and utterly deadly if he chooses to be. When Bear first arrived here he startled the chickens and one accidentally flew right at him. Bear did what any dog would do–he caught the bird in his mouth. I swear Moosie was 10 yards away when that happened, but within 2 seconds he was flying past Bear’s mouth, tearing the breast out of the bird. It was stunning. Since then, he and I have worked hard to focus his abilities toward the raccoons and coyotes he needs to (and does) kill.
But every once in a while…like last night. The training held. He never touched the hen. There wasn’t a puncture wound to be seen as I skinned her. He simply came at her and she died of fright. Ah, well. The dogs will eat well tomorrow night.