Unfortunately we arrived home from visiting friends yesterday to find proof of a chicken massacre all over camp. And we knew exactly who the culprit was…
Have you ever come home to your dog and known he did something wrong while you were gone? They get that look and watch you until you figure out why they look so guilty. Well Link definitely had that look. It’s the “I know I was bad” look. The “I’m sorry I pooped on the kitchen floor” look. Only this time it was the “I’m sorry I killed half your chickens for fun” look.
Link is just one of those dogs that you can’t seem to keep tied up. He has broken out of two heavy duty harnesses, backs out of collars and simple harnesses, and breaks metal leads meant for dogs twice his size! He has also never paid any attention to the chicks except to try and eat their feed. After being introduced to the chicks and told they weren’t his he left them alone. Even when they walked right by him he never looked up. He’s been left unsupervised with them for short periods of time and been fine. So when Kyle and I had to leave yesterday we thought we’d tie up Ronan and leave Link free. That is the most costly mistake we’ve made out here, and we wont be doing it again.
When we came home we found several injured birds, a few slobbered ones, and half of our flock spread around camp deceased. It really was a giant chicken massacre. I was so sad and angry yesterday that I couldn’t even write about it.
And even more bad news is that chick orders are done for the year here. So what we’ve got is what we’ve got for now (except for my roosters which are on back order). I’ll be keeping an eye on craigslist in case anyone is getting rid of any chickens, but I’m not holding my breath that we’ll get more this year.
And as for Link? Now he’s going to have to be kenneled any time we leave, as well as over night. I hate leaving the dogs in kennels for extended periods, but the chickens are our food. And since Link is more predator than protector where they are concerned, he’s failed miserably in his homestead job. So he’ll just have to deal with the kennel until I’ve worked with him enough to trust him with them. Unfortunately that may be never since he flipped from ‘not interested’ to ‘chase and kill’ in one unsupervised day. (Update: We used this training method on Link with the birds he killed and he hasn’t gone near them since!)
Poor chickens. We’re gonna miss you.