Gingie- The Bravest Little Silkie Hen
I happened upon Gingie on a bright summer day. There were three unexpected roosters in our chick order from the hatchery and being a new chicken keeper I didn't feel competent enough to keep them, I also didn't want anyone being rough with my girls, so I started looking for a good home for them. A young farmer said that he would trade them for my pick of two hens. I eagerly agreed and took them to his farm the next day. He took them and then showed me his chickens and let me have my pick. I chose two Silkie hens. They were just so irresistibly cute, and I had never seen chickens like them. I chose a little reddish brown hen and I named her Gingie, and a white one I named Sophie. I took them home and settled them down in the coop with my girls. The girls welcomed the white one just fine, they didn't give it much trouble, but they went after Gingie,I was inexperienced and didn't know about isolation or integration. I left the door open to the coop on accident and Gingie frightened as she was shot out like a bullet. I tried chasing after her but she ran on feet like lightening, then to my surprise she flew all the way over a ditch on her tiny tattered wings. Then she tore off into the woods clucking frightfully. I immediately went out on a hunt to search for her and got all the neighbors around and behind me searching for her as well. But it turned out to be a challenge as our whole area is heavily wooded. I searched for her for three days, and she survived that long by herself in the woods all alone. She would return early every morning and at dusk every night, and the white Silkie would come down and greet her and they would sit side by side, one on each side of the chicken wire til I came out there and scared her off. I later discovered that the white Silkie was a rooster. So we had Sophie the rooster. Then the next morning, I came out to check on the chickens and Gingie wasn't there and there were her feathers all over our lawn. My guess, something had attacked and eaten her during the night. I felt absolutely awful, I couldn't believe that because of how reckless I was, I had left her in danger and vulnerable, probably starving to death in a place she was completely unfamiliar with. I had talked to our neighbor the day before and he suggested for me to lock up all my chickens in the hen house and open the door to the run. That was what I was planning on doing tonight. I supposed I was too late, but I was just to determined and hopeful, so I tried it anyway. It was starting to get chilly in the evenings, so I sat a little ways away from the coop so I could watch for her, all nice and cozy in a sweater with several cups of hot pumpkin tea. It seemed as if I had waited there forever, but, Then I heard it, a faint clucking coming from the woods, I thought it must just be my ears and that I had been imagining this very sound and hoping for so long. But it got louder,and louder. Then I saw her, just as scraggly as ever coming up out of the woods. She paced around the coop for a little while towards the bottom where her and Sophie usually met and upon finding the spot empty headed up to the front of the coop. She kept clucking and then I heard from inside the coop a soft cooing, it was Sophie talking to her. Gingie walked right up to the door of the coop, and then cautiously walked in. My heart was in my throat and I didn't know when to move, so afraid that after getting this close, that I would scare her away for good, and I didn't even think she could survive another night alone in the woods. So I waited till she was fully in the doorway and then I tore off towards the coop and slammed the door closed as quick as I could. She ran around terrified, screaming and flapping about. So I opened up the henhouse door and I let Sophie out, and he ran down to be with her. I then cornered her and grabbed her wild little self. I wanted to just sit there and cry tears of joy because I was so happy to finally be holding her close once again. I let her eat til she got her fill and get some water and she was both starving and very thirsty. I then gently set her on a perch in the henhouse right next to Sophie, where she felt safe. Day by day I worked with her and she got more and more tame. When I felt confident enough to let them all out again with her and she wouldn't run away I cautiously opened the coop door and all the chickens ran out, but her. She was now terrified to leave the coop. So I gave her the time and respect she needed and after a couple weeks of giving in for both of us, she finally ran right out the door to go frolick in the sunshine and eat clover, bugs, snakes and all those other gross things with the rest of her flock.
She laid the very first egg I ever gathered from my chickens and I couldn't be prouder. Then by late August almost a year had passed of our lives together and she seemed to follow a similar pattern of laying and broodiness. She was broody much more often than she was laying. She just loved eggs, and she wanted to be a mother. Now I had thoughts of letting her hatch some the next spring but now it was the end of summer. It was just a normal day and that very afternoon I had fed Gingie clover, corn, and wheat bread, some of her favorite treats and remember sitting outside with her in the sun. She had by far become my favorite chicken, she was so funny. Only half the size of the rest of the girls she sure stood her ground. When one of them was pushing her she'd fluff out twice her size and growl, cluck and peck til they left her alone, and when she was broody and I would open the nesting box to take the eggs it sounded just like she screamed, 'Nooooooo!!!!" Like she wouldn't have her babies be taken. Now, it was a hot summer night in August, when I was inside. And a big black snake got into the coop, looking for eggs, and it got Gingie. When I went outside she had been strangled by this awful, evil creature. The snake's head went off with a shovel and I picked up my poor little angel, and found that underneath her was a beautiful freshly laid blue egg. I remembered my girl Izzy in the nest late that evening. The snake had been coming for the egg, that's what they do, but she wouldn't give it up, it was a baby in her eyes, so she gave up her life to protect the baby, and she did her job. The egg had not a scratch on it. It just amazed me that she was so loving. People say that animals have no souls and they have no thoughts, but Gingie was faced with a choice when that snake came slithering into the nestingbox. She could save herself, or save the baby, and she chose to give her life. Another heroic act was apparently delivered that night as well, as in the morning I realized that Sophie's tail had been ripped out, and sure enough they were white feathers scattered all over near the nesting box. My only guess is that Sophie may have tried to save Gingie. And I know that this story is sad, but I also think that it is beautiful, the kindness and selflessness shown to us by these chickens. We could learn a few things from them for sure.
That's a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing it with us! I always hate it when people insult evil ones by calling them animals. I think that's an insult to animals.
Edited by Fun Chicken - 11/9/16 at 1:45pm