A very sad thing has happened in our flock. One of the 12 originals, Pip Squeak, lost her life to a predator while defending her two chicks last night.
There will always be a lot of whys, if onlys, and guilt, but truly there was nothing I could have done in the end. I could have gone out to check on them earlier, but instead I slept in after spending hours of the night taking care of her sick chick (the third of her brood). I could have locked her in the secure crate instead of left her in the A-frame, but it caused her such great stress and panic I didn't want to put that on her. I loved her so much, she was one of my most amazing chickens and my first momma hen, but though she died I hope she knows her final fight against that predator saved one of her chicks lives.
Aviator, her first baby, survived the attack and escaped the pen, trying to get to the other broody for safety. His brother, Take, ended up drowning in a water dish and could not be saved. But Aviator is not alone, because little Lee, the stunted sick baby who is now prospering, was there to give him a helping wing. For so long it was Aviator who would boost Lee, give him a snuggle, encourage feeding and life. And now, in the end, it is Lee's tame behavior and happy chirps that give Aviator peace in knowing he is not alone. Aviator was terrified of people, but with gentle handling and a cute little brother to help him along, I think the two will be very happy together. They are both resting under my shirt right now, happy not to be alone any longer.
RIP Take and Pip, it is a very sad thing that happened, but know that your siblings/sons survived because of what you did for them. Take encouraged his weak brother through hatching and snuggled him through the hard first night. Pip kept him warm and loved, feeding him and teaching him to be strong.