For three weeks, three glorious weeks, I was back in the livestock business. My sister-in-law gave me six Australorp chicks her first grade class had hatched out. I housed them in a barrel with a heat lamp, and when they outgrew that, I connected an old dog crate covered in chicken wire to the barrel. I read “Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.” I talked to the feed mill. I emailed poultry producers. I thought I was doing everything right.
Then, yesterday morning, a raccoon tore down the chicken wire and crawled into the dog crate and ate them all. I caught it in the act. Shock overtook me, and it was a while before I could attempt to clean up the cage.
I couldn’t do it. I went to my grandparents and drowned my sorrows in carbs, as Hoosiers do.
Last night, Dad took the chickens away.
Then this morning, we lost a foal, part of a difficult birth.
Shortly after, we remembered it was the one-year anniversary of losing our farm dog
It was a subdued weekend on the farm.