Friday, November 25, 2011

First Farm Loss

Someone had an early morning Thanksgiving feast...and on the menu was one of our chickens...

For the past few months we have been letting the chickens roam free in our yard during the day. Our new fence gives us this freedom. Then at night the chickens go back to their coop and we lock the ramp for the night.

Yesterday morning Eric went outside to put the chickens in the coop so that we could let the dogs run around in the backyard. When Eric walked into the yard he watched a hawk fly away from the yard and into a nearby tree. He searched and searched for the chickens. One chicken was hiding in the coop and two more where covering behind some pine trees.

After no luck finding the other chickens, Eric came inside the house and told me what just happened. My heart sunk. "Are Sunny and Scrambles safe?" I asked. (We named three of the seven chickens due to their personalities). "Yes," he said. We ran back outside and Eric checked the garden shed. As I was walking to help Eric look in the garden shed, I saw it. I saw the heap of black and white feathers. My heart sunk even farther. I told Eric that I could never be a farmer. But here we were gathering the rest of the terrified chickens and putting them safe in their coop.

Losing a chicken was bound to happen. In fact, I'm not surprised it hadn't happened earlier. We have had the chickens outside for over a year. But the first death is always the hardest. Eric buried our Barred Plymouth Rock behind the garden shed and placed a rock on top. I guess I'm thankful that the chicken who died didn't have a name.

Now we are left with the question of whether we let the chickens roam free again. Now the hawk knows where dinner is. We plan to keep the chickens cooped up for a few weeks, and I guess from there we will make up our minds what to do next.

Who is watching who through the window?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy but can be much too common when you raise livestock. For us it happens in groups. That's the worst part because you never know when it's going to end. We've had so much death here (besides what we put on our table) and it totally sucks! But I love having these animals so I keep on truckin'.