We’ve had more excitement than I’d like this month. The big March winds last week flipped the goat shed over onto its roof. Nobody was hurt, thankfully, but we had to do some crazy maneuvering with the jeep to pull it back over. A few minutes later it flipped right over again. This motivated us to move it further behind the barn and stake it down on two corners so hopefully we’ve eliminated that problem for the future.
I’ve been sadly watching one of the old hens gradually decline. I’m assuming this was just a natural function of old age because nobody else was affected. Silver was moving slower all the time and finally spent her days sitting alone in quiet corners with her head tucked between her shoulders. My heart ached for her but I did not want to figure out how to hasten the process so I just checked on her every day, expecting one day to find her still and expired.
Here is where the sadder part of the story comes in. Yesterday I let the dogs out for an hour of fresh air after being cooped up all morning while we were away at church. I thought I heard a faint beeping behind the music I was listening to. I finally roused myself to check on it and I discovered that Fionn had exceeded the perimeter of his wireless fence and was a good hundred feet beyond it, somewhere.
I bundled up and hurried outside to find him and went first to the goats to make sure he wasn’t bothering them. I opened the door to peek into the chicken coop and there he was, cornered and guilty, standing over a bloody chicken! I chased him home and locked him up in his crate after screaming at him furiously.
I returned to the chickens and found Silver dead and Goldy mortally injured. The rest of the chickens were huddled in fear out in the goat shed. There were feathers everywhere. I put Goldy out of her misery and buried them both out in the field.
This is really hard for me. As horrified as I was, I can’t really blame Fionn for following his instincts when he discovered he could somehow reach those chickens. I was sure that if I kept the batteries fresh in the radio collars I wouldn’t have to worry about the dogs getting out to the barn. I don’t know what went wrong, and we aren’t sure how he got past the electric fence as well. If the dog could do it, so could coyotes or foxes.
My idyllic farm life has suddenly been disrupted by the realities of danger and risk, and it is really upsetting.