Alas- this is not a post about our friend Madame Crunchus Chickenus, and her various frisk-risky activities, but about a real chicken.
It's still very much winter here, and it's cold out in the makeshift chicken tent we resorted to to get the chickens and guineas (we still have 15, RC! pictures coming! someday!) through the winter.
After our ex-dog got through murdering most of the chickens, we were left with 5. Now down to 4- one of the Buff Orpington roosters vanished last week- at the same time we had a pair of bald eagles hanging around. The point to the chickens was supposed to be mostly to provide good foster parenting for the guineas, which we have hopes of turning into a well integrated part of the farm- bug control, watchdog duty, with eggs and some meat. If all goes well.
4 surviving foster parents is just really thin, of course; particularly when what we have left is 2 big Buff Orp roosters; 1 bantam Brahman (they weren't supposed to be bantys.) - and one - Dominique, of still indeterminate sex. We think it may be a transvestite chicken- at 9 months of age, all sex indicators are smack in-between male and female. The bird doesn't crow- but neither, so far, do the roosters attempt to mate with it- and they nail the little banty constantly (and sometimes the guineas, too...)
And the Dominique is in the hospital (the house). Exactly how it happened is not clear, but yesterday, responding to weird alarm cries from the woods, I found the chicken being tumbled about by - the dog. Far away from the chicken coop.
Oh, not a happy camper here. We've been working pretty hard on training this dog to not hassle the birds- and it really seemed to be working. Putting the muzzle on, any time any agressive move appeared. Delilah really seemed to be getting it.
The problem is- it's not clear what happened. Even though 100 yards away from normal range- the bird appears essentially unharmed, though it was pretty shocky when I picked it up.
But- no dog tooth punctures, anywhere; not even any visible bruising. And after spending the night inside the house, in a covered box, the bird is calm, looks well groomed, and seems- fine.
Ok. Now what?
It's not that I'm really at a loss for what to do. We have lots of options- the problem is, they all take lots of time and attention, and it bloody ain't convenient.
It's really irritating, sometimes, how inconvenient life can be. I mean, really.
Now we have to work. With the dog. With the chicken. With the family.
ah, well. beats spending time reading headlines, I suppose.