Chicken Kill Hill

Near the end of my drive to work a few nights ago I caught sight of a large doe in the headlights of a tractor trailer that was slightly ahead of me to my right. I was passing the truck doing a little over 75 when I saw her. She did a head fake to her left then turned towards the median. I was braking hard all the time knowing I was soon to have a large rat with hooves laying in the front seat with me.

She slipped and went down just as I went over the top of her.

I realized I had just missed out on having a nasty, possibly tragic accident (it was for the doe) as I pulled to the shoulder to see what was left of my front end. When I pulled the upholstery out of my ass to remove myself from the car I found that there was very little visible damage to the car. Some of the trim package that I already tore up when I ran over a huge chunk of a blown out truck tire was hanging loose again. I was just positive there was going to be something tore up underneath. My tires chirped when they made contact with the pavement after rolling her under the car. She actually had me off the asphalt. There was little I could do on the shoulder of the interstate at two in the morning. I made it into work and parked where I would be able to see if there was any leaks when the sun came up.

When I got back into the yard later that day I was relieved to see that there wasn’t any fluids leaking or anything hanging except for some hair and blood. I felt fortunate to have not been hurt or tore up the almost new car again.

I thought about the incident all the way home. I have been making this commute for a long time dodging deer and a multitude of other wild and not so wildlife. If I were a WWII fighter pilot I would be a opossum ace. Opossum are in second place on the list of dumbest critter when it comes to blacktop survival etiquette. Only the armadillo could top the list due to their propensity of jumping up into the undercarriage of passing vehicles that would easily pass over them with room to spare.

Returning home full of gratitude in the outcome of my highway mishap I find a friggin front yard, garden and chicken run littered with victims of what must have been a hell of a feather flying fiesta killing spree by our dogs.

A little background on the history of chicken ranching here maybe appropriate to explain my utter disgust at the vista before me. We haven’t had the best of luck with poultry security at the Rocky Ridge. A 110 gallon stock tank that we used for a brooder was the site of two chick massacres from leaving cover hatches unsecured and a cat that is an excellent hunter of mice, moles, squirrels and has even killed a copperhead. One batch of 25 birds were crunched by one of our mutts that chewed through the chickenwire. She had them all laid neatly in front of her as if she were posing for a hunt photo. Now this bunch.

It does little good to have a chicken coop and run that is damned near critter proof if gates are left open. So basically we have had over 100 birds killed here in the last two years and nary a one of them made it to our freezer. Trust me when I tell you that the thought of cleaning some of the last kill crossed my mind but rigor had set.

There have been not so subtle remarks made by my lovely wife that I might want to reconsider having birds here. I thought that our chicken killing dog had been put down when she came up with tetanus. I guess she passed on her skill to kill to our remaining mutts. The scene of Lieutenant Dan in the crows nest of Bubba Gumps shrimping boat during the hurricane yelling at God comes to mind when I think about giving up on chickens now. I’m sure there will be dumbass updates concerning poultry to come.

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8 Comments

  1. Ed Abbey said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Up here in the heart of cornfed and thus bigger deer country, we say it isn’t “if” you are going to hit a deer but “when”. My wife took one out three years ago and now has a bumper put back together with a ripped down two by four and some galvanized screws. I haven’t hit my first deer yet but I know it is all just a matter of time.

  2. Kush said,

    November 14, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Sorry to hear about the chickens, but when you weight it against what might have been with the deer you still came out way ahead. Obviously little consolation for you or your freezer.Our dogs haven’t killed any of our chickens but Buddy (younger mutt) did kill two or three of our heritage turkeys last year. He is lucky to still be alive is all I can say.Kush

  3. Woody said,

    November 14, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    Ed..I consider myself extremely fortunate. The damage done is minor so I’m hoping that this one satisfies my limit.Kush..The chicken thing is more a major frustration than anything. They were just coming into laying about 9 or 10 a day. The sole survivor was of course a rooster.I wanted to shot the dogs but I can only do that when I’m pissed off and I won’t pick up a firearm when I’m in that frame of mind.

  4. cedrorum said,

    November 15, 2008 at 6:52 AM

    Glad to hear you are ok and the car isn’t to badly damaged. I had the same good luck, if you can call it that, of hitting my first deer 2 days before Halloween down here. Other than a broken running light and crumpled in driver’s side front quarter panel I was fine. I drive an old Honda Civic which is very low to the ground. If she would have hit another foot towards the middle of my car she would have come through the windshield.

  5. November 16, 2008 at 10:05 PM

    Bless your heart Woody, I feel so sorry for ya man. We have a dog that loves chicken almost as much as I do, if ya know what I mean. That beign the case, we have to keep our chickens up all the time. I would love to have them run free but it would never work. So, get rid of the dog or get rid of the chickens, I just couldn’t do either one….lol Life goes on.Chris

  6. Ron said,

    November 17, 2008 at 8:56 PM

    Hey, man… sorry to hear that you hit that doe and weren’t able to enjoy any venison from it. I just pray that any deer I hit are close to home. Sorry about the chickens too. My neighbor keeps seeing the bobcat we chased off a while back…I wouldn’t be able to keep a chicken killer unless I could hitch it to a plow or something. πŸ™‚ It’s awfully painful to lose even one just-started-laying pullet! Ron

  7. November 20, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Glad you made out better than the doe, but anyone who has hit deer knows it was more than upholstery you were cleaning out of your pants. πŸ˜‰ Sorry to hear about the poultry/canine stuff. My husband’s Chow would killed so many of our chickens it wasn’t funny, he attacked our draft horse, and our milk cow. But, he was a good dog, just not a farm dog. We kept him under lock and key for 13 years. But it is a relief to have dogs now that just mouth birds and know better than to chase…

  8. Woody said,

    November 22, 2008 at 3:41 AM

    Cedrorum..I’m driving a civic too. I just knew this was going to be bad so I’m extremely happy to be wrong.Chris..We have the coop and run inside the garden perimeter that is wrapped with 7′ deer netting. The dogs can’t get at the birds unless two gates are left open. Need I say more. Little hands forget to shut gates, turn off lights, leave water running…Ron..I’m at the “or something” stage, like maybe a noose.Nita..Hahh..I sucked enough upholstery up my ass to make a table cloth…lol


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