This is my first year raising my girls, only 4 allowed within city limits. They have grown & thrived, and have become part of our family. I live in the central valley of California, yesterday was particularly hot, 102, but I have them located in a shaded area of the yard, with a large tarp in addition for extra shade. They received cold watermelon and cabbage in the am, and when my 11 yr old granddaughter went out to give them a second helping of watermelon early afternoon, she found Henny Penny in the nesting box, dead. We are sadden and Emmy is heartbroken. We have raised these girls from 8 wk chicks and have tried to be responsible parents. We had a long hot spell last year that they pulled thru just fine, so not sure if it was the heat that got our girl or what? She had laid her egg (we counted 4 eggs for the day) so she didn't have a blockage. Any ideas of why this could have happen? She seemed perfectly fine in the AM. I keep a 2.5 gallon water jug full for them, so plenty of water on hand. Thanks for any advice you can share...
This could not have been written better. I have a friend that because of the fear of predators keeps his hens pen in the coop and run 24/7 - 365 days a year. Seeing the joy in my flock when I open the door to the run and let them out into the backyard makes it worth the risk. My flock is so much happier and I can see it in them. Also the screaming to be let out comment mind do that as well. When they see me walking out the back door they all just wait at the run door, as soon as I open it they will fight over any cricket that has gotten stuck up between the door and frame then take to the yard in joy. I know I have done my best to protect my flock and deter predators both air and ground and that is the best I can do. Thanks for this article.
As I began to read this article, after having purposefully skipped over it several times, my chin began to quiver. As I sit and talk with my fluffy babies, I cannot fathom the thought of seeing one grabbed up and carried off knowing I am completely helpless. Oh the horror!
However, as I continued to read, my spirits lifted somewhat. There is no happier bird, or more beautiful sight, than one scouring the beautiful green grass, that they helped to color, in search of delicious morsels that do not exist in any enclosed run.
By the time I finished the article, my face had a huge smile on it and my eyes had happy tears welling in them. I have no doubt, even though I am exposing my babies to danger each day, that allowing them to roam freely gives them the happiest of lives. We all should live our lives in the same way: live each day fully and filled with happiness, because we never know when it will be our last!
Thank you for a well written article. Loosing one of our pets is a reality that we have to live with and this article goes a long way in looking at the situation through tears but with a deeper understanding and acceptance.
I'm one who tries to build for Knox. I have yet to lose a chook to a predator but I know it is still possible. I dread that day so much. Thank you for the reminder that my feathered friends are living a much loved life no matter how they meet their end.
I know death is a part of life, and in my fragile hold on this reality at times I know someday I will lose one of my spoiled rotten babies. Just the first time it happens it will tear my heart out, and I will mourn forever, whining about how I miss how they would do something, and it will seem like no other will replace. But then another will come and snuggle up to me - and it'll be alright.
My spoiled rotten babies know they are loved and I know they love me when I wake up to feed me duck kisses lol. And I will be foever grateful that they rescued me and continue to make me laugh. View attachment 1429092
But I'll probably still hunt and tear to shreds if it was a predator.