Well, yesterday I finally let the chickens out! Fuego and Moka had been in the coop for two weeks and the three red-egg layers (Dolly, Molly and Polly) were in the coop for a week. At first they didn’t know what to do when I opened their door, but with some worms hanging in front of their faces… they all flew, jumped and scrambled out of the coop. Naomi and I gave them fresh earthworms that we dug up and Naomi tried to pick up a few of the girls. Even though we got them older… they were very comfortable around us. They were so excited to be outside that they ran around like crazy trying to eat everything at once… greens, bugs and dirt. They obviously were starved for some serious free-ranged food. If you look closely (click on pictures for bigger size) at some of the pictures you can see the worms hanging out of their beaks.
Everything was going smoothly and Lina, our dog, was tied up so that Fuego and the girls can have some time to explore the land. Naomi and I stayed out with them for over an hour to make sure they were doing okay. Then I decided it was time to go inside, eat and finish up with laundry.
Then, 30 minutes later my nightmare happened.
I looked out my kitchen window to check on Lina to make sure she was still there, but she was nowhere to be found. She chewed through the rope and chased the three red-egg layers while we were in the house. I found her with one of the girls gasping to death, I was sick and horrified. Of course, I had to fine the others… Fuego and Moka were doing fine, but two of the other girls were missing. Finally we found one wandering around in shock. I was able to put her with the others, but we weren’t able to find the other one. Polly is the one that died, Molly was founded and Dolly is missing. Later today I found out for sure what happened to Dolly… Lina must’ve gotten her first… hid her, and then went after the others and got Polly. How I know that? Lina was dragging around some guts today (we put Polly in a bag and out of reach, so we know it isn’t her).
Anyway, I am so mad and upset at our dog, Lina. We are seriously considering giving her back to the gal we got her from. We’ve been praying and talking about that for the last couple weeks. Yesterday just added one more HUGE reason to give her back. My good Tica friend told me that there was a saying in Costa Rica… “Once the dog tastes the egg, burning the mouth won’t even stop it from getting more.” I remember my dad telling me about tying the dead chicken to the dog for a couple days will stop them from killing more. I was able to confirm that with him and another friend who has done it with good success. We are considering doing that as we kept the body that I found.
Thankfully I was able to get Lina before she killed all of them and I’m sure she would have. Later, I was trying to get Fuego and the girls back in the coop. It was almost dark, but they weren’t going anywhere near the coop. Thankfully, after a scary moment thinking they were gone, I found them huddling next to the storage shed and was able to put them in the coop. I learned from that experience that chickens don’t have good sense or see very well at night. So, that made it VERY easy for me to pick them up (no fighting or running away) and put them back in the coop. So, yesterday ended terribly…
Today started great! My special egg-warmer hen, Moka, laid her first egg this morning! I cleaned out the coop yesterday and laid some fresh hay in the laying boxes. I decided to also put some in the other side of the coop, in the corner, thinking they might like something to peck at. Well, this morning I discovered that Moka made what looked like a deep nest with the hay, but didn’t see anything till I pulled back some of the hay… my first egg!
I am so excited and now hoping that we will have some chicks in a few months. My good Tica friend, Shirley, gave me some advises from her friend (who we bought Fuego and Moka from) on how to sort out the eggs for Moka to lay on. I would like to have her lay on some blue and red eggs along with her own once she starts warming them. That way we can hopefully get our red-egg layers back and have some blue-egg layers for some fun variety. Looking forward to that, but hoping I won’t see any more chickens (or chicks) killed by my merciless dog.