Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Even the Death of a Chicken is Sad

Rocky and Baby
Last night one of our bantam hens died. Little Rocky (she was a barred-rock bantam). We are not sure what caused her death, our rooster had been bothering her one day (he is a lot bigger) and he may have hurt her.

She was acting funny for a couple of days, tail feathers down and a sad look about her. We tried the burnt toast trick (charcoal is supposed to help bring out any toxins in their systems) but had no luck. So, last night she we buried her in the compost pile where she will become part of the earth.

Rocky was a sweet little hen, we got her as a day old chick. When she was a baby she was great friends with one of our guinea hens. As they grew older, they grew apart and each one hung out with their own kind. We had wondered if that would happen.

Two years ago Rocky hatched out 4 eggs. She had wanted to sit on eggs for awhile, but we kept taking them away. Finally she found a spot under a tree (it took us almost a week to find her). We decided to let her sit and put up a fence around her to help protect her at night.

We were having our morning tea on the deck one day and suddenly heard peeping. We looked at each other at the same time said “That’s baby chicks!” Sure enough, there was Rocky and her entourage.

We have had many chicks, but this was the first time we had them here at home from one of our hens. We put a little house out so Rocky could move the babies inside if she wanted to, which she did. She was a very good mommy and the chicks thrived. We were concerned about our cat, Jasper, but he never bothered them.

So while we no longer have Rocky around we do still have one of her babies, Gwen (3 of them were roosters that we gave to friends). While Gwen is not as special to us as Rocky was (Gwen never lived in our house as a baby like Rocky did), she is a nice little bird and maybe there is part of Rocky’s spirit living on in her.

Rocky is not the first bird we have lost, nor will she be the last. As my husband always tells me, it’s part of farm life. But each animal has its own personality, and when you get a special one, it makes the loss a little harder.

Good-bye Rocky, we will miss you.

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