RIP To My Slaughtered Hens

Happy fourth of July to all my American readers!
Today we are going to a block party in the town nearby. It’s one of the only towns in California left where fireworks are still allowed. Rumor has it that some of the folks over there smuggle up illegal fireworks from Mexico. Last year at this same party a tree got burned down because someone shot a bottle rocket off and it landed in the poor tree.
Speaking of poor creatures, today was a sad day around here. My husband had some business acquaintances meet him at our place so they could all go to a shooting range nearby. One of the fellows brought his dog and left him at our house. Apparently, I was going to be dog sitter. The dogs seemed to be getting along well, so I left them outside to go drop off Izzy at a music festival. On my way back, I stopped at a church rummage sale. They gave me a trash bag and said I could fill it up for five dollars. As you can imagine, I stayed for awhile. I found some vintage dresses to add to a fashion show I’m doing in September, some pretty gingham and cotton fabrics, and a 1969 Ken doll that Lily found!
Well, back to my story… Someone, and I’m not naming names, left the henhouse door ajar unbeknownst to me. The hens are usually locked up until the afternoon because if you let them out earlier they’ll go lay eggs in the bushes.
On returning home, I saw a dead hen in the driveway. I started to walk around the property, and there were dead hens everywhere. It was a morbid sight, so I made the girls go in the house.
Poor Lily was in tears. I couldn’t really blame the dog, because he wasn’t trained to be nice to chickens like my dogs are. But did he have to go and kill them all?
Actually, we found the rooster and two hens later hiding, so at least they aren’t all gone. They were good gals, and gave us some delicious eggs.
The dogs owner was sick with guilt as they walked around, putting the chickens in a bag. Well, it wasn’t his fault, but it was a pretty awkward situation since it was the first time I had met him. He is a business executive and lives an hour away in the city and thought he could bring his dog out to the country. Well, I guess he won’t forget having to pick up dead chickens anytime soon!
Someone at church asked if I was going to eat them now that they are dead anyway. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Why can I not think twice about buying chickens at the market but I can’t eat any of our chickens?
Hypocritical, isn’t it?


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  1. littlebetty says

    Oh that’s horrible! Poor chooks! My dog did the same to the neighbours bunny rabbit. It was a bad day. Happy 4 July and enjoy that wild party.

  2. Julie says

    Poor hens! Sorry for your loss, I can only imagine what a scene that must have been to come home to. I wonder what the dog owner had to say – did you tell him?

  3. MJ/Sweetwater Cloth says

    I’m so sorry! We on-purpose killed our broiler chickens yesterday to grill out today, but actually on Friday our own dog got another one of our hens. If you plan to eat them, it’s no big deal, but unexpected it’s pretty sad to lose a chicken.

  4. Nan says

    Oh that would make me sick finding those chickens. I love chickens but I do eat them from the store where I’m not attached. Not sure I would have wanted to eat those who met with such a violent death and were really pets. I spent all but the last 10 years in CA and then we Retired in Alaska which is my blog. I’m sewing vintage here. Nan

  5. Adele says

    Sorry to hear about your chickens. I have lost a few to marauding dogs as well and I know how heartbreaking it is.. at least you didn’t have to witness the attack. I think you did well to not go off your nut at the owner! As for eating them I couldn’t eat ones that had died like that, I have humanely killed and dressed my own hand raised cockerels before, but that’s a bit different when you know they didn’t suffer – and aren’t carrying unknown dog germs.
    Will you replace them? It looks like you have a nice enclosure.

  6. Sew Country Chick says

    Thanks for your condolences. We have two hens left so I guess we will let them brood on some eggs until they hatch.I’m not sure if chicks get born in summer though…

  7. A.J.A. says

    Ugh. That stinks. I would be very upset too! The hens contribute to the homestead. Sorry to hear that.

  8. Ryan, Corrie, Max, and Jack says

    No, you’re being hypocritical at all!! I don’t know how farmers do it- raising the animals and then eating them themselves. Couldn’t do it.