Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chickens Are Not Trash

Thanks to a Grant from the Vancouver Foundation my mind is filled with gathering help and materials to stretch the $5000.00. Note this money can only be spent on the projects we requested it for. Drainage, shelter and storage. So a letter went off to the landfill asking for permission to pick the site for usable lumber, I was given permission to be on site for 4 days at 8am every morning and wearing all the appropriate safety gear. My first morning would be Tuesday as i got in a few hours at the shop on Monday.

Monday coming home from work i pass by a very rural stretch and noticed a teeny rooster at the side of the road. I turned around and parked and counted seven birds down below the incline. Three roosters and three hens along with a young baby. When the big gold rooster saw me he lead his flock further into the bush so i came home to seek out a game plan and the hows on face book.

The forest here is lush, with a creak running in the back of the lush area , moss laden ground with majestic cedars and evergreens mixed in with others in various stages of decay, toppled over by wind and lightening strikes.

From the road to get down is about a 50 ft incline and it is also where more then one passerby has tossed over there garbage. A discarded Tv is smashed over and frames the center of a tree stump. There is glass everywhere , old tires , yard waste and seven chickens.

The following day Roxanne and I picked at the dump for five hours and i was exhausted but i went back to the chicken site with a pail of feed , crates , dishes, water , string and set my trap. I called out to these birds and the young rooster came out first , two roosters are missing. I set the trap knowing if they don't go in during the day i will have to close it up at night so they don't get cornered by wildlife.

The following day the trap has been disturbed , i see another feed pail. This sets me back as i didn't feed the birds outside the trap when i set it up. To eat they would have to go in. Some one else with a good heart has fed the birds so i shut the door,i don't see the baby anymore.

Roxanne has helped me two days in a row at the dump and we were both so tired. Pulling pieces of plywood from under the weight of tossed timber is labor intensive but we go into hysterical laughter at the stupidest things because we are so giddy. We are getting some good stuff!

We return to the dump on Wednesday and then I go back to check on the chickens. I beg Roxanne to come back with me after dinner to see if we can net the remaining birds. I know chickens will not move in the dark but when we get back there the young rooster is up a tree . Two hens are settling in but my attempt with the net failed and they retreat into the bush. The pretty little white one with feathers on her head is back alone in the bush.

In the morning i push myself to return to the dump and get home and unload then return to the chickens. The white one is gone and so is the rooster. I live in the middle of bear country but i returned that night with a flashlight as the two hens had to be saved as something was getting them and yet in the back of my mind i had hoped they returned to where they came from and were not dumped. But as i went threw the bush i saw the flutter of a huge wing span and not more then four feet in front of me was an owl on top the rooster that had been up the tree the night before. I can't see the hens and know not to alert the owl even if i did find them so i have no choice but to leave.

Friday is my last day at the dump and i am wasted but i don't stop with my load i go right to the chicken site without stopping and I can't see them anywhere. I walked threw the bush for over an hour , i thought i heard them ..but i don't think I will ever stop hearing them. I went back later before i fed the pigs dinner and there was no sign of them. Scattered feed was untouched so not even the wild birds dare into this part of the forest now.

I took a sign with me and put it up on a dead tree for all to read. "Shame on who ever dumped this chickens here along with the garbage. I tried to catch them for a week, but the Owl was better at it then I was"

I pulled all my gear out of there and cried all the way home.


lesley said...

I know excatly how disheartened you felt, we know we cant save them all but oh how it hurts when we fail. My heart goes out to you jan.I know some people think I am anti human beings and im not but I do feel that there are more unpleasant selfish people out there than there are good onesIm afraid.
Wish I lived nearer(same country would do) so we could speak and have a moan with each other!
take care,

Janice Gillett said...

Thank you Lesly , i have been back there so any times in fact i just got back from looking again.
When i pulled up i saw scattered flowers , did some kind soul leave flowers in honor of the chickens? No, someone dumped a flower pot there and it was full of pink flowers so went down and grabbed it and thought to replant when i got home.
A gentle wind caught the tree's and a light rain of Fir tree needles fell to the ground threw out the forest. It felt like magic and a message to move on.

Anonymous said...

You're amazing. What an amazing story of commitment. I wish the world was filled with people like you.