Baby Doink, Sweet Yoscha and Brave, Selfless Blueberry
We just lost our Blueberry to, we believe, a coyote.
My daughter saw a flash of dog and ran to save her birds. Blueberry was caught in our field, so the feathers there attest, and some ways from his girls and I believe he led the coyote after himself. He saved them from two little hawk attacks as well, about a month ago.
He was gentle, sweet and good to them and quite vigilant, though once he lost them and I had to pick him up and go find the girls for him.
We got eight of them all together as babies and did not realize for some time that one was a brave little roo. Yesterday was so painful. Today, his favorite girl Glady, Gladiator... seemed to be looking all over for him, and mourning... but she was also looking for a place to lay her first egg!
And we all held the little jewel and praised it. I held her several times while checking on her today because she would not hang with the other girls but kept wandering off and flying into trees or wandering into the garage.
She is not a lap chicken but seemed accepting of my concern, calling out and coming when I called for her, and eating, thank goodness. She was nearly gotten yesterday, her comb bloodied a bit, and he saved her with his own sacrifice. She seems most traumatized. I really hope she hangs in there, physically she was not really hurt, but her boyfriend...argh. We miss him so much! They were close.
These are our first chickens... we had some as kids and my parents still do, but I was not the parent and responsible party and well, it has been so different raising these babies with my kids, whose insistence it was to get chickens.
We got eight, and have lost three now. Our Doink was a Wyandotte, which I really wanted one and she was little and silly and adorable. We don't know what happened to her, but it happened in only a few days, she was just laying there under the heater, still warm. And we were all so devastated, even just having her for a few days. She was carefully buried by our Zinnia dog we lost last winter.
Our Sweet Yoscha we lost to that parasite that is so hard to pronounce and we felt so guilty. It was very sudden and my fault for forgetting to treat the water. She was only a bit over two months old. A sweet little gray bird with gold accents on her neck, can't remember the breed just now. She and her sister were pals and hung together.
Another girl, Chel, got really sick but we managed to treat her and she struggled through it and is healthy and happy.
I wish we had gotten more little chicks to begin. We did not realize we could lose them so easily. More would not make less hurt, but now we will have to raise more babies, and possibly introduce an older roo to care for the girls, now theirs is gone.
I don't know. Too soon to think. And we have free range hearts, so hard as freedom is, we think it gives great lives for as long as those lives are. They do get cooped in a very safe raised home by night, so only free by day. And today they stuck very close to home. Tomorrow we continue the work on their nearly done run for days we can't monitor.
Lastly, my sister has had birds for years and lost hers some time ago to dogs. I was sad for her when she told me, but I know just how she felt now. And I will say the love for our birds is worth the pain, as hard as those days are.
They are delightful little raptors and we love spoiling them. Some seriously expensive potential eggs, lol. And I think next spring we will get more babies. My heart goes out to all of you for your sweet, funny little birds.