Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trials & Triumphs ~ A Tale of Margret the Pullet

This is Margret. 
Margret is from Texas.
Margret was lovingly given to a friend, but these friends already had chickens, and their chickens didn't very much appreciate the Texan invasion.
So Margret was taken to the Riddle Ranch in hopes of a fresh start in California.
There was a little girl who fell in love with Margret and gave her more attention than she cared to receive.
Margret wasn't the only little pullet who traveled from Texas to California.
Margret had a friend named Fluffy.
But Fluffy was eaten.
By our dog.
We thought we lost Margret also.
She had disappeared for a day and a night.
The little girl was heartbroken and gutturally sobbed for two.  Straight.  Hours.
The next day, a blur and the sound of a chicken ran past the little girl.
Margret was running for her life.
From our dog.
The little girl went into hysterics at the surprising fact that Margret was still alive.
But she wouldn't be for long unless a person could get to her before the dog.
The little girl's mother, with he help of older siblings, rescued the young hen that still chirped instead of clucked.
Margret went straight into the little girl's squeezy arms and the weary chicken and elated girl danced and twirled and cuddled, and the little girl sang at the top of her lungs, Togeeeeeeeether!  Togeeeeeeether!  Together agaaaaain!

Now Margret (who now clucks instead of chirps) shares a patch of (protected) earth with two lambs, Shamrock and Blossom.

After a week of sharing life with the lambs, Margret has decided that she is, in fact, a lamb as well.
Shamrock and Blossom are her flock.
Now, Margret goes wherever Shamrock and Blossom go.
When the lambs nap, Margret naps.
When the lambs run, so does Margret.
When the lambs bottle feed, Margret gets very put out that she doesn't get a bottle of her own, and often, Margret flies atop the mother's back in angry protest as the mom tries to feed those lambs.
But Margret is safe now, with a very puppyish reminder of the dangers that anxiously await on the other side of the run.

So Margret stays with her flock of two lambs until March when we welcome a dozen chicks to the ranch.
Hopefully Margret won't try to ram them.

I'm sharing this at Simple Lives ThursdayBarn Hop, & Farm Girl Friday.


  1. Haha! That's awesome! I love that the chicken ran directly to your daughter. Such a funny thing for a normal chicken to do.

  2. totally sweet post!

  3. what a tragedy and what a great relief of joy! i could feel your daughter's emotions while reading it. i would love to own chickens. someday...

  4. This is awesome. What a cute little story. (Except for the part about the first chicken, how sad!) You have a charming writing style.

  5. I stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed reading it. I thought I would offer a "remedy" to a chicken killing dog. This isn't for the faint of heart - but as someone who grew up with both dogs and chickens, I can tell you; this works. If your dog manages to kill another chicken, here is what you do. Use a short piece of rope to tie the dead chicken carcass to your dogs neck - attached to the collar works. Leave it there for several days...I mean several. 3 to 5. The carcass will begin to smell and will flop around looking pathetic. Your dog will likely look pathetic also - but that is what you want. The trick is to leave the smelly carcass dangling from your dogs neck long enough that the dog will never forget it.

    It is aweful seeing your poor chicken like this. After a few days, it is aweful seeing your poor dog, too. But over many years growing up on a farm, we rarely had dead chickens. Occassionally a new dog would come to live with us that had a taste for live chicken ~ but after they learned how chicken was "prepared", they never went after a chicken again. I have never had a dog kill a chicken after this treatment.

    Like I said - it sounds aweful! But since you will be getting a new flock soon, I thought maybe this info would come in useful. (hopefully you'll never need it though!)
    ~ Sarah

  6. Will the method of the dead chicken around a dog's neck work even BEFORE a dog has killed a chicken?? We are getting a friend's six chickens in a few days (they are one year old and a neighbor has complained), and I am VERY nervous about how our two, 80 pound coonhounds will be.

    ANY advice would be great!

  7. So glad that Margaret managed to survive and is getting friends. I have the world's best dog (unless he has a chicken in his mouth). I understand that struggle.

  8. What a sweet story. You really can fall in love with chickens!
    thanks for sharing it on the Farmgirl Friday hop! If you've been missing my blog, it's back!
    Please update your link to:
    Thanks and hope to see you soon!

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