Saturday, November 20, 2010

RIP Marge

One of my chickens, Marjoram, aka "Marge" was tragically attacked and killed by a bird of prey this past week. We came home from work and after searching for about an hour finally found her remains that were half-eaten in our yard. Poor Mr. Rue suffered some minor wounds and is missing a chunk of his tail feathers from defending the rest of the girls. I was so upset....even though you would never think one can get attached to a chicken, when they become your pets, you definitely can. I think the guilt I felt for letting them out to free-range that day was the most overwhelming part of it. I guess it's the price we pay, for they are happiest and healthiest when out free-ranging. The worst part is that I think the other three chickens have been traumatized by the experience and are still very scared. Everyone told us it was bound to happen and to expect it, but I guess I never thought it would happen to me.
Marge is in the foreground, eating out of my hand

4 comments:

  1. Megan, I'm so sorry to hear about Marge. Heartbreaking! I've lost some over the years when I let them free range as well; usually to bobcats or coyotes. Eventually, I restricted the "range" so that it wasn't quite so broad. Still no guarantees, but it seems safer. Don't let the loss discourage you though. It's so worth it to have these wonderful birds!

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  2. I know these are old posts about the chickens but this is my first time seeing them. I'm so sorry to hear about your Marge being attacked. That's horrible. I was going to ask if you had a dog. If you had a dog who was trained to get along with the chickens, no birds of prey would bother them or if they attempted to, the dog would defend them.

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  3. Hi Patsy! No, we don't have a dog but we had thought of maybe getting one-however, it would have to be an outside dog because my husband is allergic. We also don't have a fenced in yard. Are certain breeds best for poultry? Maybe sheepdogs or Great Pyrenees? Thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. Megan I'm not really sure which breed would be the best. I would think a breed without a strong prey drive as you don't want that instinct to get triggered by the chickens and have the dog end up attacking them. Maybe some type of sight hound would fill the bill. German Shepherd's were bred originally to be herders but, now are wonderful pets and very vigalant in protecting their home and its' contents. You could speak with a reputable GS breeder and ask them if they think that breed would be good for the job of guarding the chickens. You would definitely have to get a pup so it can grow up around the chickens and not see them as dinner. Good luck.

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