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Saturday, June 12, 2010

RIP

by Megan

Yesterday I watched my favorite chicken die.  She was a beautiful Americauna pullet - 9 weeks old.  I watched as she struggled to hold onto life after the neighbors dog, not really more than a puppy, had gotten under our fence and grabbed her.  I was only 10 yards away - within earshot if my window had been open.  My 5 year old son had found them and said to me very calmly, "Mom, a puppy is eating one of our chickens."  I said, "What!?"  to which he repeated with a little more alarm, "Mom, a puppy is eating one of our chickens!"  I ran out to find the puppy, tail between his legs, trying to crawl under the fence again, and our chicken gasping for breath.









I had wondered over the past few weeks if I would cry if one of them died.  A couple of years ago I saw a hawk carry away a small pullet and I burst into tears - but I thought perhaps it was a fluke because those were my first hens.  I wondered if I was as attached to these birds.  But when I came out and found her dying, I once again burst into tears.  I didn't know if I was supposed to save her - to mend her wounds or if it was too late.  I felt such an immediate sense of how small and vulnerable my little hens are - and how it was my responsibility to provide a save place for them to live.  I felt awful after I realized she was really gone,  lifting her limp body and putting it in a bag.  Since we have no backyard neighbors but wilderness I didn't want to bury her and attract predators so I put her in the trash.  I felt so guilty.  She was such a beautiful bird.  I had told my sons that we might even want to enter her into the county fair but instead she ended up in our trash.  It was a sad day.

Rest in peace, little hen.

13 comments:

Mountain Home Quilts said...

I'm so sorry. It's awful when something like this happens. We've lost a few chickens to neighbors dogs and it is so sad.

MAYBELLINE said...

Oh my goodness. This is sad like Old Yeller. So sorry.

Aimee said...

so totally sad....i would have cried my eyes out. my chicks are about 9 weeks old too and if our dog got a hold of them, it would devastate me as the "mother hen" :)

mpduncan62 said...

I'm so sorry, its so easy to get attached to what we take care of..its only natural and normal. We would worry about you if you didn't care!

bandwidow said...

So, so sorry. She was beautiful.

Brian said...

And that is farm life.

Garden Pheenix said...

Farm life indeed, but still a crap deal at the end of the day. It's such a disappointment when we loose one of ours and I feel for you. She was gorgeous too - love her coloring. *Hugs*

Farmgirl Cyn said...

We just lost one of our hens last week for no apparent reason. Went out at 9pm to lock them up for the night and she was laying below their perch. No wounds, no feathers missing. Nothing to indicate why she died. I think when you have a small flock (I had 10 hens and one rooster) it makes any loss more difficult. We DO get attached to them, don't we?

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

One of the points of having free range chickens to me is to give them a good life while they're with us. It's only natural that if you care enough about your family, the environment, and quality of life, you would be sad when something tragic like this happens. I am sorry for your loss.

Kathy said...

Oh megan - i'm sorry for your loss

Vikki and the Kid said...

We've become so attached to our 11 chickens that I can't imagine eating one, or losing one to a predator. Did you tell the puppy's owner?

Vikki at http://vikkisverandah.blogspot.com

pdxlisa said...

So sorry to hear your sad news.

-Sydney- said...

I've lost two hens this year to wildlife and it is sad. I think I'd be more upset if it was the neighbor's dog though. He was probably just trying to play with the hen, but you're going to have to watch out for him. . .