Not to dwell on the bad, but last week a dog got the last of my chickens. The worst part was that I looked out one morning and saw the dog with my chicken in her mouth. I ran out there in bare feet to try to rescue her, but it was too late. I screamed at the dog and she slunk off. I broke down and cried. Actually, I cried a whole lot. She was my favorite chicken. My only chicken left, and I couldn’t get the image of the dog killing her out of my mind. I think because I had not cried when the other ones were killed, but this time the kids were gone and wouldn’t see me crying.
I did contact the dog owner, though. (Not right then, but a day later, when I could speak of it calmly without crying.) They were very sorry and offered to pay for chickens and punish the dog and keep her in their own yard. I can’t say it won’t happen again, but we will reinforce the dog run so that chickens can’t fly out the top when a dog comes barking. We will try again. Even if we are in a neighborhood full of dogs and our yard is not fenced. I don’t want to be the girl who had chickens once. That day I started looking on the internet for “dog proof chicken runs” and “How to keep chickens safe from predators” and looking on KSL.com for chickens for sale.
Because now that we’re all into this chicken project, I was authorized to spend some money instead of just relying on things I could get for free. And I had been complaining about the coop and how it needed this modification and that fixing. Ryan wasn’t thrilled about fixing up what he called a piece of junk coop. Somehow one of the kids suggested I should call my ‘friend’ Nate Berkus
and ask him to design a chicken coop for us. While that’s not a bad idea, and I am certain that any chicken coop designed and/or built by Nate would be FABULOUS, I don’t really think he’d jump at the chance to do that for his show. But I might just send him an email anyway.
When I started looking, I found that there are a lot of chicken coops for sale! Fancy ones, HUGE ones, little ones, etc. Wow.
I found this ad that had just been put up, and I called.
It seemed sturdy, safe, and oh, so cute! I arranged to come and pick up the coop and his three chickens on Friday. Ryan was off work, so he and I took the truck up to Riverton to pick up this coop. The bad thing was that this coop built out of an old playhouse was wider than the gate, so we had to lift the whole thing up OVER the 5 ft fence. Somehow we managed with the three of us. The coop barely fit in our small truck. It had to sit on top of the wheel wells and was hanging out the back. But we used the trusty tie downs and took it slowly back home. I had the three chickens in a rubbermaid box on my lap. They did not enjoy the ride, I tell you.
But it makes me happy to have chickens again. And who doesn’t love a coop built from a cute pink play house?! (Ryan says we should paint it barn red, which would also be cute. We’ll see about that.) On their first day here they laid three eggs for us, so I’m pleased with their work, as well. We are returning the loaner chicken to her rightful owner, and going with these three. They came prenamed, so I guess we’ll stick with that, even though I don’t think that Lexi, Juliette and Violet are great chicken names. They even have little colored bands on their legs and a key written on the inside wall of the little house that says which color means which name (Violet is the blue one, etc.) Cute. So we’ll just go with that. If you’d like to come and visit our new little family of chickens, feel free to come on over. We’ll even give you a fresh brown egg if you’d like.