I have had a very sad update from Jason Akin (a lot of you will remember Jason’s split-level coop design featured a few weeks ago). I will let Jason explain – we hope that sharing his tragic story will help others avoid having a similar experience.
Woe is me! On May 5th while my family and I were at the beach, my neighbors dogs dug under the fence and killed all but one of my chickens. We only had them for a couple of months before this tragic event, so I was quite surprised to see how upsetting this situation was to both my and my neighbors family.
To help prevent this from happening again I worked late into saturday night burying chicken wire along our fenceline. On sunday the neighbors responded in kind and dug in their own run of chicken wire, and by the end of the week they had also put lattice down to stop erosion and discourage digging, and put in a single strand electric wire fence.
The surviving chicken, Tabetha (formerly Tastybird), survived without a scratch by flying into the neighbors (now) dog-free yard. She was obviously traumatized by the massacre and misses her coopmates. She now sleeps with two teddy bears and gets tucked in at night by my wife and me. The teddy bears seem to provide the comfort and security she lost.
Lessons learned...1. Don't free range your birds in the suburbs if you aren't there to watch them.
4. Chickens can win your heart as easily as any other pet.
Thought I should share my story (part of the healing process, y'know).
Pensacola Fl, USA
p.s. My wife is now in the market for chicken diapers so Tabetha can hang out in the house without leaving a deposit.