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Friday, October 9, 2009

Goodbye, little hen, may you rest in peace...


It's been a while since I've had a hen die and I'd forgotten how hard it can be. The other morning my son went out to feed the chickens and get them fresh water when I heard him say, "Mom, this is really strange, come look." My stomach immediately got a knot in it because even though it's been a long time since a chicken has died, I am constantly scared it will happen again. So I went out and found Marshmallow lying in a heap inside the coop. Her head was completely curled underneath her and she was as still as a rock. You can see her at the bottom of this image.

I don't know what killed her. Maybe a raccoon reached through and held onto her until she died of a heart attack or perhaps she was sick - I wish I knew. They've been molting which I know can be hard on the little gals but our other hen Cracker seems fine. Since I only had two hens and am left with just one I don't now what I'll do know but I am leaning towards letting Cracker go to a friend's coop and just going without chickens over the winter. We'll see.

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

Oh, I'm sorry. Do you have to take extra measures against raccoons? That's one of my stumbling blocks here to having chickens. That, and my city cites an acreage minimum that I don't meet. After seeing coops in similar-sized lots I wonder if I should just go for it anyway.

megan said...

I have taken measures against raccoons - especially since my neighbor lost all of her chickens to a raccoon. I buried a frame underneath my coop so they couldn't dig in and we lock the coop up at night. Though a raccoon could still reach in through a few openings. I just have to hope that the hens have enough sense to run away in time if that happens.

courtneyb said...

sorry to hear.

katiegirl said...

Sorry to hear that. I just lost one of my girls unexpectedly last week. She was one of a group of chicks I got in April, so she was young and healthy. Or so I thought.

AJK said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Kate and Crew said...

Oh that is sad. I bet your other hen is lonely without marshmallow. I dread a sick or dying chicken... I just don't know what I'd do.

mike said...

Who is your friend that is going to take care of your chicken?

Holly | Reed Photographic said...

Sorry to hear about your chicken. I've lost a few but never found them - I would just find a small pile of feathers. We finally decided it was a hawk swooping down on them in broad daylight so we covered the top of the run with wire and it stopped.