A couple of weeks ago I picked up two puppies someone had dropped off on the side of the road. My wife and I live in a rural area which means people can drop off unwanted pets with a low risk of being spotted.
The puppies were living in a hollow log on the side of the road. After feeding them for around a week I was able to get close enough to grab them. When I picked them up they did not growl, bark or try to bite me. Just to be on the safe side I wore leather gloves.
Everything was going good until this morning. My wife got up before I did, she looked out the backdoor and saw the puppies under the chicken house. The chicken house is up on legs, screened bottom with hardware cloth and plywood sides. The chicken house was designed to be predator proof. We have a chicken yard, but the gates are left open so the hens can free range.
My wife got the puppies out from under the chicken house. When I got out there she told me there was a chick that was not moving. It was alive, but barely. One of the puppies ate part of the neck and some of the flesh off the chicks back.
The chick was put out of its misery and the buried next to a recently planted satsuma tree. Hopefully its death will not be in vain.
There is no way to describe the amount of grief I have felt all day. You try to do what is right, as in taking care of a couple of puppies someone dropped off to starve, and one of your chicks is killed as a result.
That chick, my wife and I are paying the price of someone neglecting their responsibility. If who ever dropped those puppies off would have had their dog fixed, this would have never happened. If the person who dropped those puppies off would have stepped up and found them homes, this would have never happened. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, some asshole dropped the puppies off on the side of the road.
The chick was an Australorp. Which would have produced around 600 eggs over the course of its life. Australorps lay around 200 eggs a year. With 3 productive years that is 600 eggs. Chances are that hen would have laid more than 600 eggs over the course of its whole life. Then there is the time, money and emotional attachment my wife and I put into raising those chicks. The chicks get their feeder filled up twice a day, fresh water, heat lamp on cold nights, and then some abandoned puppy kills one of the chicks.
Let’s just say the whole situation pisses me off.
The only thing stopping me from giving the puppies away is I think they are going to make good dogs. Plus, I want a couple of hog hunting dogs. Currently I reply on other people who have dogs trained to hunt dogs. I would like to have my own hog hunting dogs.
My wife and I agreed it would best if we start keeping the chickens in their chicken yard. At least then we can say we did what we could to protect the chickens from the puppies. the puppies do not bother the full grown hens, it is just the small 4 – 6 week old chicks.
Over the next few months my wife and I are going to build a much larger chicken yard. The current yard is around 73 X 35. The new yard is going to be around 200 X 100. Hopefully this will give the chickens plenty of room.
Picture of said puppies.