Chicken Died in My Arms

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by keechoo, May 7, 2008.

  1. keechoo

    keechoo In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2007
    What a sad day! I want to cry for her but can't.

    I was sitting in my car as my son was sleeping in his car seat. I watched as the flock of 1 rooster and 5 girls went into the brush between my neighbors and our yard which they have done so many times before. The only difference today was the clucking and running of the flock. I saw one of my Rhode Island Reds run for her life with an animal chasing her. I didn't see its head nor its tail. All I saw was an orange body. I ran out of the car screaming, ran through the brush full of pricker bushes, poison ivy, wild grape vines, and whatever else. The first thing I saw was a pile of feathers. Looking a couple of feet to the left, I found her lying down as if ready to lay an egg and her right wing slightly spread. I talked softly to her trying to calm her. I went to pick her up and she moved a couple of feet away. I approached again and this time she let me pick her up. As I carried her back to our yard, she started to flap and crapped all over my pants. I kept talking to her, got to our yard, and laid her down. As I put her down her eyes closed and she passed away.

    I called my neighbor from across the street (who has more chicken experience than I) to confirm what I already knew. He told me what to do and I got on it. He told me I was doing well since I only lost one after getting them as chickes 11 months ago. He told me how he lost 23 who were ready for their first night outside in one night to a rat. Didn't make me feel too much better.

    So, I prepared her grave and went to get her. Well, the rooster was constantly crooning and walking around the house after putting the girls in their hiding place. He must have sensed the danger had past because when I went to get the dead girl he was coming with the hens. He saw me pick her up and came at me with his wings spread and making a scary sound. I put her down and took a few steps back. They all went up to her dead body. He pecked at her head and tried to corral her. Three of the other girls pecked at her and then walked away with him. One girl, another Red, pecked at her and then began preening her "sisters'" feathers. He returned and took her away. When he wasn't looking, I picked her up again. He saw and did the same as previously mentioned. This time, the "sister" spent 5 - 7 minutes preening the dead bird. My 5 year old daughter was telling her, "It's ok, Paula (bird's name). She's dead. There's nothing you can do." Once she left, I had my daughter stand guard against the rooster so I could bury her. He saw and I think he finally figured it out.

    I am so worried about going out to their coop tomorrow in fear that the fox would have returned. Now I know why my cousin stopped keeping them. If only I got there a little sooner.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. ChicknThief

    ChicknThief Songster

    Jan 12, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Oh I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a friend, and I feel for you. [​IMG] Her memory will always abide in you, so even though her body is no longer there, she will be with you forever. [​IMG]
  3. I know how you feel! Do you keep them in a coupe? I think you should build a run for them that way they will have some more protection! It is hard to watch them die especially after a ruthless old fox has attacked them! THat is why I chained my pit bull mix out close the the coupe to keep the fox away!
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I'm so sorry. It's always tragic and hard to lose one but to actually watch it happen would be horrible.
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    you poor thing [​IMG] So sorry, so very sorry.
  6. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    So sorry for your loss.
  7. Gindee77

    Gindee77 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    QCA, Illinois
    I'm so sorry about the loss of you hen. Your story is so sad. I lost a whole flock to a coon in one night years I know how you feel. But at least I didn't have to witness it happening! That must have been terrible.
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    How sad and distressing for you to see all that! I'm so sorry. [​IMG]
  9. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Songster

    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    I am so sorry for your loss. Be careful, that fox will probably be back. Interesting that your entire flock mourned her death in their own way.
  10. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    That's really heart wrenching... I hope the fox stays gone! [​IMG]

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