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Today. Fewer Hens / eggs. Fewer dogs! bummer

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posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 12:21 AM
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In a previous post I mentioned that we lost 2 hens this month. Today We lost a third. This time the hen was cuddled into a corner in a mud patch of her run. All of the hens run to the middle when feeding is happening. She didn't move.

I moved her to a quarantine area and after observation We were sure she was dying. The neighbors dog starts barking from our fence line 2 acres away and a couple of property borders away. I only worked half day today and was there to see him.. Almost got the rifle to shoot him.
He has been on our property everyday for the last 2 weeks.
The following story ensues.
I have lost 2 hens this month. No carcass. No feathers. Broad daylight. No neighbors

reporting an attack. My wife kept bitching about the dogs on our property. I said go talk to the neighbors..to no avail.
During this month a new neighbors' dog realized he can squeeze through the third layer up of my Cattle Guard fencing. He has been a regular visitor ever since. I and my wife have chased him away many times.
This dog wasn't noticed away because he is one of 7 different breeds that moved into the

trailer that the owner uses as a rental.
Yesterday, I had the dog in my bead , 22 rifle, while looking for a hawk. I lulled him away from

the property and never caught eye of the hawk.
Tonight.
I came home to my wife crying with a hen in her arms. I asked the right questions. Has she

lost weight, can she drink, can she eat..No... I told her that the hen will die.

I am a city boy that had to kill a rooster with the same symptoms in March. I didn't like it one

bit. Had to be done! I waited too long. I say that becuause the bird was not moving for a week

and his head was bowed. Dragging dirt for those not knowing bowed.
I was trying Internet cures for crop problems... Excuse. I knew that he was dying. I couldn't

man up and kill him. Period! That time pitiful me made the poor animal suffer!

I told her to go inside and told her the truth. The noise an acre away was the neighbor killing

his dogs matching the description that I gave him.
for poaching the chickens. Double wa wa. I offered fencing and rope/chains to keep the dog

in his property. I did say that if it was on my property again I will shoot him and ..That would

be to his negligence. I repeated that I love dogs.

Now I return from the neighbors house and my wife is in the door of the chicken coop crying.

They are like her pets. Believe me.. Spoiled rotten and loved to no end. This hen was dying

and now I'm back to where the post began.
She can hear the welps of the dogs. She is cradling the hen in her arms like a newborn baby.

The hen , 2 years old weighs about 2 lbs now, and can hardly lift her head.
I asked my wife to let her lie and go inside. She said that she will stay there till the hen died. I then reached down and broke the hens neck. Picked her up and took her to be buried.
Now I"m being ignored.
City folk trying to be farmers. I won't ever again allow an animal to suffer do to our human nature of dreaming that it will be better tomorrow!
Did I feel good about it ? Right! Try as I might even those that want to make light of this I cant

even wish to exact some pain.

The count :
Man - Animal death bare hand. virginity gone 2x. no change from first. Just sux.
Woman- Guilt of accusing others for deaths w/o proof. Maximized pets death with other's pets death as well.

Dogs.. maybe 2 free chicken meals.
Hawks ... my favorite choice for sniping chickens ...ON TARGET.

Bottom Line.
Simple operation of a chicken coop in a rural area that has 9 residences in 2 sq miles. Still has problems with priorities and communication.

How bad will it be when tshtf? Some Ignorant Pet Lovers let them run wild and they eat 2 months of food in 1 week.?




posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 06:52 AM
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Rule #1 - never treat livestock as "pets". We don't eat pets, er I hope most of us don't.
Rule #2 - you gotta do what you gotta do, just make sure nobody sees you doing it.
Rule #3 - Shooting hawks (any hawk) is a federal offense. Sometimes you can scare them off with fake plastic owls.

You will both get over it.



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 07:16 AM
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This is why people who say, "I grew up on a farm," expect and do not get a strong reaction and then just scratch their heads and wonder what is going to happen if infrastructure ever does break down significantly in a national or global way.

I don't know what it sounds like to those unfamiliar with these things, but your honest and detailed account certainly helps it to be more real.

Farming is incredible work, for so many reasons, but mostly because of experience like yours. It changes us and makes us stronger, more tender, and more thorough in anticipating threats.

Loving animals is an inherent part of farming, because love makes one more conscientious, ensuring better protection and care of the animals.

All animals are not for eating, btw, for non-farmers out there. Many live for several years, especially dairy cows or breeding sows, and relationships happen, as they should.

The farmers value these animals and that does lead to love.

Powerful love for one's stock, or at least a reverent appreciation for what they do for humans, is only natural and should not be mocked or ridiculed by those who are very distant from the food supply.

Until one has witnessed and midwifed the lives of plants from seed to harvest and seed again next year, or the lives of stock animals and those who are butchered for meat, criticism is unmerited and not the point.

Sympathy for a different way of life would make a lot more sense.

It's the love that keeps us vigilant over these creatures. Love is key.

It is not a sentimental feeling in the head and chest and nether regions, it's an appreciation, commitment, and a sense of seeing it through, lots of responsibility, not just emotion.

Real love does things, protects, and is powerful. There is nothing wrong with loving what sustains us, or at least valuing it emotionally.

Keep on, farming friend. The heartbreak produces knowledge, growth, and character. Your sweet wife (I'm sure that's why you married her) will heal, as well.
A caring wife is better than a cold one, any day.

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Copperflower]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 07:19 AM
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It stinks to lose livestock to sickness. It's stinks to lose livestock to wild predators. It really stinks to lose livestock to someone else's "pet". Hope your nieghbor does a better job containing his dogs.

We've lost one hen to a hawk and one hen to a bobcat. The hawk is tough to defend against since we let the hens free range a good bit. The bobcat only seems to frequent the area in the early morning, so we can keep them shut in totally enclosed coop/run till mid morning.

Sorry for your trials. Unfortunately, when you own any sort of livestock or poultry, you'll have them.



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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I can't tell you what to feel or what to do - but - I can share this.

My chickens (and farm animals) are loved. Well loved.
Not like children, deeper in some ways and not in others of course, but they are truly and wholly loved.



I give them the best life I possibly can.
They eat and drink clean fresh water before I sit down to breakfast. Not even a thimble of coffee. They come first.
Times are tough and they don't eat? I don't eat.

Here's a pic of 'Lil'Man' recovering from an injury on a chair, inside, next to my computer...




All the animals have scheduled attention times too - it's just as important as their food, water and shelter, maybe more.
It's hard to say who benefits more from the loving attention they receive, I like to think it's mutual.

A dog attacks my 'pets with benefits' (meaning the ones I will eventually eat) the owners get one warning and only one.
Then the dog 'disappears'.
The neighbors get another dog? They get no warning at all.
And no, I don't tell anyone I just dispatch the dog cleanly and bury it under the chicken run.

If an animal is mortally wounded I send it off as painlessly as possible.
Is it hard? You bet.
I get the shakes (after) and cry.

For chickens, I just can't take the 'neck in hands' - it's too much for me. They'd feel fear, I'm sure, if my hands, normally so gently, grasps them in a death grip.
My method?
I make the animal as comfortable as possible on the ground and get 'the stick' = An old broom handle.
I place the broom handle right over and behind the bird's head then quickly stand on both sides of the stick and at the same time give the birds feet a huge upwards yank.
I hate this method too but, it's the best I can do. I know I can honestly say it's the best I can do.
An axe? IMO the loss of dignity after a hatchet death is harder on the animal, so it's the 'stick'. Plus, all the blood splatter and carnage left behind? I don't want to take a chance on calling in predators.

If the animal is not suffering but the time comes for the animal to fulfill it's part of the bargain? It's life in exchange for all the love, care and never wanting for anything? I'm the one that takes the life away.
No animal I've ever 'out down' has had cause to feel fear.
Me? Again, I hate it...
But, that's the price I pay.

And who does the gutting and taking the hide (or feathers) - Me. And I try not to waste anything.
I've even learned to eat the 'doodles' (topknot of the chicken), the feet and the head? Well, two out of three isn't bad - I still can't do the head, but I tried.
My 'Lovey Hens' who've been part of the family, who've given me their eggs every day for years?
They get buried in the 'hen patch.'
My oldest pair just passed away at 9 years old each. I miss them still.

LOVING our animals means we do what's RIGHT. And that means NEVER abandoning an animal to suffering. Or letting someone else do the 'dirty work'. It means protecting them at all costs.
You've learned that. The hard way.


Am I right?
For me I am.
For everyone else?
I can't answer that can I.
You have to answer it for yourself.

I hope you two find peace, you and your Mrs. deserve it.

peace

Edit = bold and 2cd picture

[edit on 21-7-2010 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by awakentired
 

In my case its country girl marries city guy. I'm the one who says " Go in the house, I'll be in when I'm done! " It does suck, big time! But it sucks worse to watch them suffer. One bullet well placed relieves a multitude of suffering in the quickest possible way. Aesthetics aside its my preferred way to deal with suffering farm animals since it is so very quick. I can fall apart after its done.



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 10:56 AM
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Bright morning and all is new and different. A new day and more chores.

Thank you all so very much for your well thought out and inspired words.
I read them to my wife this morning and with tears in her eyes she asked me to thank you all.
I told her it is life on a farm honey. She said I know ..but who said I have to like it.

Peace



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by awakentired
 


Its a sad situation indeed.

There are many ways to handle your situation. The one that will give you the proof of what is harming/killing your animals is a hunting camera that can take pictures in the day and in the night. Once you have the proof, then you will be clear headed at to what step to take next. Without proof, guilt will forever burden your soul.

shop.ebay.com...




posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:19 AM
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Just wanted to add it's hard not to love chickens if you get to know chickens.

They are so funny, curious, and talkative, that I do believe if there were more hens in the world, there would be a lot less prozac.



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by awakentired
 


The situation you are in sucks as you should have the right to do your thing and be happy without worrying about outside elements.
My first thought is oh no not the doggies as I am an avid dog lover, then I thought maybe if you went to your neighbor and advised him that you have just changed your antifreeze in your car and you have no control over what an animal may do with such a tasty solution just sitting out.
Sure the neighbor will say “I will sue”!
Let them know that in such a case you have plausible deniability, and simple negligence will be the rule, sure you will have to pay a couple of hundred dollars but he will lose his dog.
Of course I would hope you do not put down antifreeze as that is a death I would not wish on anyone especially doggies as I loves them.
Just use it as a fear mechanism against said neighbor if negotiations fail.
However a low power Red Rider style bb gun could be a valuable tool for such curious dogs.
It would be the equivalent of a spanking and will not penetrate the dogs hide.
Other than just outright blowing up said dog which I would not like to see, I wish you the best on your difficult situation.



posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 07:48 AM
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Awakentired...
I was just rereading your original post and it occurred to me that you said there were no feathers, no blood, no signs of struggle with the missing chickens.

Dogs would leave traces. Feathers at the very least, sometimes blood and sometimes the body. With many dogs the thrill is the chase and the kill, not the meat.

Hawks can kill and carry off a chicken but you'll see a few feathers and typically a leghorn full grown is too big for a hawk.

Foxes can kill a chicken in total silence without leaving a drop of blood or feathers behind as can coyotes. Owls are the typical night time culprit as well as oppossum and weasels. There will be signs with both of them of a struggle.

Of all of the above oppossum are the worst of the offenders. They will eat a chicken while the poor thing is still alive! I hate them with a passion!



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