I walked to the barn yesterday morning to feed the chickens and see if all the horses were okay. I had some helpers doing all the horsey chores, so I could have an actual day OFF. It was oddly quiet.... no hens bustling about to be fed, no Emmi and her peeps. No one.
I looked up at the hen house, and there was one lone chick, standing outside kind of like it was lost. That was weird- Emmi Never left one peepy alone like that. So I called my hens to come out for breakfast. I'd left the side door on their house opened the night before because it had been do humid, and figured they might be inside still . (Odd for them to do that even) Nothing.... no hens, no Emmi and her peeps- but for that one little one standing up there peeping its' fool head off. WAY to quiet.
I asked my two helpers if they'd seen the hens or the peeps this AM, and one said that one red hen had been around, but that was all. I am the one who cares for the chickens, most times the kids never hardly pay any attention to them when they are here. Lucy, and Silverwulf were down at the manure pile- and I started to get worried. Where were the others ?????? I caught the one lost peepy, and put her in the little kennel cab I'd fixed up for Emmi and her peeps to use at night. NO sign of the other 4 hens and the little ones. It was so quiet, it was eerie. So, I figured 'something' had stolen my hens- no feathers, no big signs of dead chickens, nothing at all but dead quiet. I cuddled the little peepy who was so lonely and lost, and cried for my dead hens. I kept thinking of their terror as what ever it was killed them. Poor Emmi- all she wanted to do was be a good mama to her little brood. They're gone..... all but two hens and one little lonely peepy.
Later on, Sadie n' I went for a walk and behind the row barn, in the tall grass there, I found signs of a chicken being held down, and another one on the back of the manure pile.
I know about predators- and most likely this was a mother fox teaching her young how to hunt. Well it wasn't hunting- these poor chickens were in their coop, asleep. I understand ALL to well about the survival of the fittest, and how nature runs it's course, and when one has a farm, things are going to be killed or die. It STILL makes me want to cry for those chickens though- it was My responsibility to keep them safe, and in being kind, I let them be killed in the most terrible manner.
Rest in Peace, Emmi, the'littles', Skarlet, Devon and Roxie.... never forget you were loved.