We were going to make a trip to Sonic. My husband has been in work-super-hard mode for the last couple days, and we thought it would be a nice surprise to run to Sonic and get him Chocolate Dr. Pepper (although I can't figure out for the life of my why he likes that stuff!).
I had gotten all the kids dressed, shoes on, sippy cups found, and we were heading through the kitchen out the back door when I just so happened to glance out our back window.
I saw feathers and a long bushy tail.
THERE WAS A WOLF IN THE BACKYARD EATING MY CHICKENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I grabbed my broom and headed out the back door. I only made it as far as the back steps before my brain kicked in.Was I going to endanger myself in an effort to beat this wild dog away from the chickens? Was a skinny yellow broom really protection enough against this savage beast?
Probably not. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and called my husband.
The conversation was short and went exactly like this:
THERE IS A WOLF DOG IN THE BACKYARD EATING THE CHICKENS!
Oh no! Are there any left?
Two maybe three. She's eating the white one RIGHT NOW!
Well, be careful. Don't make her angry. I'm not sure what to tell you to do.
Me? YOU SHOULD STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND COME HOME!!!
You're right. I'll see you in a few minutes.
I hung up the phone and went back inside to my loud and very angry toddlers. Except that as soon as I was inside, the wolf dog went right back to scratching and clawing her way under the wire of the chicken coop.
I stepped outside again, and she grabbed her dead chicken and hid behind a bush.
I stepped inside, and she once again went immediately for the other chickens.
So I set up camp on the back steps and watched while the wolf dog laid behind a bush eating his prey. I noticed a few things while I was outside. First, we actually had two dead chickens, but there were only a few black and speckled feathers left from the first one. Secondly, the wolf dog had a collar on which means she actually belonged to someone, and she was less than savage. She didn't seem aggressive and really just wanted to be left alone to enjoy her chicken.
I was happy to oblige. I stood outside for about 10 minutes listening to the toddlers alternate between singing, crying, and banging on the back door. They did not like being left inside when all the fun was outside with mom... and the wolf dog...and the dead chickens.
Then in what's starting to seem all too familiar, my husband pulled into the driveway in a borrowed vehicle to once again save the day.
He stormed into the backyard, grabbed the wolf dog by the scruff of the neck, and pulled her away from our chicken coop. The dog came submissively enough, whining after the unfinished lunch that fell from her mouth.
He tied her up in the front yard with a spare leash he keeps in the shed. She laid in the grass with a penitent look on her face. I brought the toddlers outside to see the dog while my husband picked up the feathers and spare chicken parts scattered all over our back yard.
Within 10 minutes of coming home, my husband was off to work again, and the kids and I were finally on our way to Sonic.
When we came home an hour later, the dog was gone. She'd slipped out of her collar and was off roaming the neighborhood again. I kept an eye toward the back yard all day expecting her to come after the other two chickens. She did show up again that evening but hid behind the trash can in our drive way, finishing off the remains of the white bird my husband had stashed as proof of her misbehavior.
We were lucky that we were out in the yard when the wolf dog's owner came looking for her. The owner willingly paid for our chickens once he saw the pile of white and black feathers and the smug look of triumph on his dog's face.
He even made the comment that he was glad the dog was finally eating again after having a litter of pups. I guess they hadn't tried live chickens yet...
As for the two remaining chickens, I'm not sure how long it will take them to return to normal. They have stopped laying and hide in their roost anytime the toddlers are outside. I guess my two year old with all his barking and biting reminds them too much of the wolf dog for them to feel safe quite yet.
We haven't decided yet if we want to replace the chickens we lost or just give up on our hens for awhile. Either way I think I'll be investing in a bigger broom You never know when you might need one around here.