The trouble with chickens is that sometimes they die, like all pets. Many of our girls have passed over the years, mostly just dying the quick chicken death that looks like this. One day I look at you and you are looking kind of piqued, your eye just doesn't look sparkly like it usually does, and then I see that you are not on your roost at night, but in the corner of the hen house on the floor. Then the next morning you have ascended the Rainbow Bridge into chicken heaven, which is probably full of green grassy lawns, teeming with worms, nice fluffy dust for your dustbaths, no fences, and no predators.
Because it was a daytime marauder who took the life of this beautiful chicken, our Little Red Hen (Reddie, for short). She was our Best Girl. Always friendly, curious, and happy to see us. And happy to take a bit of goodness right from our fingers or hand, ever so gently.
When I went to shut in our girls last night, I noticed the chicken yard full of her pretty red feathers. And no Reddie on the perch. A fox? A dog? We'll never know. We feel pretty sure it wasn't a hawk, because she was no lightweight. What I really don't like to think about is her last moments. So instead I think about the fact that she knew we loved her, she was well-cared for, and led a very happy chicken life.
Sylvan was sobbing this morning when he heard the news. He drew her a picture.