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August 21, 2008

Comments

El

Ohmigod how horrible (first thing) but how wonderful (second thing). Time for that pellet gun, or a bigger dog (first thing) and a big hug and keepyeryapshut (second thing).

Warm thoughts coming your way either way.

Pamela

That was an excellent message about getting past family feuds. Hurray for you.

I'm sorry about your chicken.

amy

What a horrible situation for you with the chicken murder. Oh. That just makes me sad. I did not know a racoon would murder a chicken. Awful. The situation with your son is so complicated but I am happy that you were able to have him over. Were your girls ok with it? I hope it is the beginning of healing. Forgiving is sometimes easier than forgetting. Love to you.

Wendy

I'm so sorry about your chickens. We had the same thing happen. She, the raccoon, took my best laying hen, but we didn't hear it happen. The next morning I found her, and it was pretty awful.

As for the second thing, I'm very happy for you. I hope my husband and my son might get to that point someday. We haven't seen him (although I do speak to him by phone, occasionally) in a couple of years. He lives in another state now, and while there are rarely words, what's not said is so very loud.

MMP

Sorry to hear about your chickens. Unfortunately, it does happen. Chickens are a pretty tempting meal for a wide variety of small predators. We lost a couple last fall, and it does suck.

It's a little late for advice now, but I have found a tall narrow coop that allows the chickens to roost high up off the floor is a big help. It gives them tree like securiety inside the protected walls of the coop. Mine is a home made one in the shape of a silo about six feet tall at the roof edge. The chickens can hop up through a series of staggered roost bars to the top level.

The other advice is to realize that no matter how strong fort knox is, if you stick with chickens long enough, there will be losses. It hurts, but it is what animals do, even people shaped animals. You do the best you can, but you can't prevent all death no matter how hard you try.

I hope you stick with it. Chickens are great. Your own eggs taste better. Exposing your kids to more life is good for them. If you hatch, you will see the the beauty of birth. Free range chickens will help keep down the bugs. And they are just fun to watch.

-mmp

Alecto

El, NoMans is hunting for pellet guns now and we are finally going to acquire that St. Bernard puppy we've been putting off for nearly 3 years (in hopes that Homer the Terrior might finally mature - ain't gonna happen).

Pamela - thank you.

Amy - we have all gotten over it (mostly) except Nomans. I'm not sure why this hit him harder other than the fact that he didn't grow up with more than cats and certainly has no basis for understanding livestock and predators. With regard to the boy, it is so very, very complicated but the girls are OK, I am OK and I believe he may be OK. On the other hand, as a mother (and I think you just posted about this), I really need to keep my mouth shut and my hands off the mess and just hope he keeps himself alive while he works out his own internal demons. Based on what I saw and heard he is on his way, I just need to remember that it is his life. I do not believe he is going to harm any of us.

Wendy, thank you. And I'm sorry to hear about your son. I never imagined how hard it would be to have contact severed and how much it hurts every single day. What astonished me was how ready he was to accept my olive branch the other day - after so many months of abject refusal. The boy hurts too.

MMP - we won't be giving up and I believe what you described is about what we purchased. It is described as an Amish hen house, is very tall and narrow, off the ground and allows upper level roosting. It also has vents that lift but also latch down very securely. I had a good hard look at it a few weeks ago when we were at the local agway buying fencing.

I amaze myself sometimes. My mother was a breeder and systematically destroyed white puppies (all the peta people, HUSH!) for very good reason. She did this stoically (at least in front of me) every single time it was required and it wasn't until many years later that I realized what it cost her emotionally. We, she and I, always cry when the horse has to be put down or the dog taken to the rainbow bridge or the livestock is lost or the kitten is crushed under an out of control bicycle. So I'm not sure why, given all that, I am surprised that I would cry over a chicken. Of course I would cry over a chicken and I suspect that unless something drastic changes circumstantially we will always have chickens.

Madeline

My dad and I were estranged for several years and then one day, with a casual phone call and a dinner, we started seeing one another again. It has never gone sour since, just bitter once in a while. I am so glad for you about your son. May this be a new chance.

Kitt

Working my backward through my blog backlog. I'm so sorry to hear about biddy. A horrible way to go, livestock or no.

And here's to reconcilable differences.

Alecto

Kitt - yes, livestock or no, it is a horrible way to go. I don't think I'd be so bothered if she hadn't suffered for so long.

Madeline - I think this is something we tend to do in my family (although maybe it's not all that uncommon?) and I think it's just awful our willingness to turn our backs on each other and I am such a horrible offender!

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