I learned of the disaster with the damn dog when my neighbor called to tell me he had a chicken in his garage. As my birds had never previously left the yard, I thought maybe it was another neighbor’s chicken a couple doors down. When I got home I found the carnage and only my Rhode Island Red escaped. I retrieved the chicken from the neighbor and thought, as chickens are social creatures, that I should immediately get another hen to keep the Rhode Island company and I planned to replenish the flock once I got back from a pending vacation.
I got on KSL and found a Blue Laced Wyondote for sale and I went and bought it and brought it home. My Rhode Island had always been a calm and peaceful bird but when the new chicken took a peck the battle royale was on. Those chickens fought and wrestled for a few hours. Even suffering from PTSD the Rhode Island still came out on the top of the pecking order. After a couple of days the two chickens settled in to a routine.
After getting back from vacation I found a flock of five chickens for sale on KSL. The family had a job transfer to California so they had to give up the chickens. I took my son downtown to pick them up. The couple were very nice and they gave us a metal container full of food and some high end chicken treats. I wondered how the new flock of five would interact with the two established birds.
Upon getting them home it was clear the Rhode Island was still the boss. The two chickens kept the others at bay and even weeks later the only two birds on the roost in the house are the Rhode Island and Blue Laced Wyondote. The rest sit on the floor of the cage at night. This will probably naturally change once the weather gets colder and they start huddling together for warmth. After a week or so of separate activities the two groups are now integrated. The new chickens are a Black Australorp cross with feathered feet, two White Australorps, an Americana and a Red Sex Link. They are molting but I am still getting eggs from all of them except the Americana who is in full molt.
Without the damn dog there, I can leave the chickens out all day in the bottom portion of my yard. They freely graze the grass, nip the plants and they dig worms from my compost bins. All but the Americana like to be picked up and petted. This happened very quickly so all seems back to normal. Death and life are so intertwined and life goes on. It’s nice to have fresh eggs again with a happy and content flock.