Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Death of a Loved One

Chicken Girl Problem #2


One of the things that I have always hated about having pets is that eventually they do have to die. However, sometimes its nice to know that when a pet dies it is because of natural causes and that they had lived a wonderful life before their time was up. Its kind of a different situation when a pet is taken from you before its time was due. I guess my issue is that I have never had a pet long enough to have it die on me, besides the occasional fish death.

Septemeber 10 that all changed for me when I came home to find my sisters and mom surrounded by the baby chickens outside! However, they aren't really babies since they are 15 wks now but they are 7 wks younger then our older group of chickens. My family told me a story of how a hawk payed a visit to our chickens today while they were outside free ranging. Unfortunately, the hawk was able to get one of our chickens and we could not save her. Her name was Buttercup and she was the most beautiful, fluffiest, sweetest golden bantam ever and she was be deeply missed.

The hardest part of Buttercup passing away was telling my boyfriend mostly because this was his favorite chicken and he truly loved her with all of his heart. My boyfriend is an animal lover by nature so honestly any kind of animal death is very hard for him to handle. I couldn't blame him though because I had a really hard time dealing with this as well. For me it was because I felt like I had let my children down because I wasn't there to protect them from this predadtor. We literally have never seen a hawk in all of the months that these chickens have been free ranging. It really caught all of us off guard but it was a great lesson learned.

Just because you do not see a predator does not mean he/she is not there. Hawks are very good at what they do and it is mostly because of their outstanding eye sight and great hunting skills. This terrible event has helped us become more cautious and aware of the surroundings in the environment. Another positive aspect is that only one of our chickens passed away out of our original 30. We do have a crippled chicken Hops which I mentioned in a previous post and it would have been even more devasting if he passed as well. I am sad about the death of Buttercup but glad that is all that it was if that Hawk had wiped out more of our flock it would have been even more difficult to handle. 

The one thing that saved the rest of the chickens though is that they had an adequate amount of space to hide and our reaction time to saving them and throwing rocks at the hawk helped to get him out of the yard.

So everyone please be very careful with your flocks of chickens and be very diligent about looking out for them. Predators will catch you off guard and kill all of your chickens if they can. It can help to you so be prepared.

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