Yesterday was a very emotional day at the homestead. While laying down in bed with Micah for a nap, Heather rushed in and shook me awake. “Daniel! Some dogs attacked Remy!” Our rooster was attacked by a band of stray dogs and left for dead.
By the time I got dressed and rushed outside, Remy was lying on the path, wheezing. The dogs had fled a yelling Mommypotamus up the hill into the forest. Remy didn’t survive. We will not discuss what happened next.
After I came back from a trek into the forest, I rounded up the guineas and herded them back into the barn coop. Two of them seemed particularly traumatized and wanted nothing to do with me or my offer of food. So putting them back into the coop took 20 minutes longer than usual.
After all that excitement, I had to break the news to my three year old son, Micah, who had slept through the whole ordeal. He doesn’t appear to comprehend that Remy is gone. For all he knows, Remy ran away or just moved on. He hasn’t witnessed death at his age.
Our daughter cried herself to sleep last night. She loves each of our animals and considers them pets regardless of how we set expectations. I will have to get better at setting expectations, however, because she will have to grow accustomed to the reality that most chickens on our land will eventually end up someone’s dinner.
Knowing that our free range / pastured birds would continue to be at risk, we discussed speeding up the process of acquiring a watchdog. I want either an English Shepherd or an Australian Shepherd. Even these breeds occasionally get a taste for fowl and cannot be stopped.
You can read more about our predator problems on our new homesteading blog, TheDailyHomestead.com.