Our Precious Girls — We Will Always Love You!

by Christine
(Connecticut,USA)

Our eight little girls came to us in a variety of ways.

Spressy (Espresso) our little booted bantam always looked like she had pantaloons on.

Stormy looked like she had side whiskers - a beautiful gray girl who laid blue-green eggs - but only when she felt like it!

Feeny (Phoenix) our second little bantam super streamlined chicken, as my husband would say.

Pixie, our big beautiful white girl with a black speckled collar.

Lola our gorgeous black sextant.

Shelly our creamy blush Buff Orpington.

Pumpkin and Autumn, who looked so much alike I usually referred to them as the Red chickens.

Sadly we lost Pumpkin and Autumn last summer. We really aren’t sure what happened, but they had become sick and I tried everything I could but unfortunately they succumbed to their illness.

So now we had six. Our girls were our pets that gave us the bonus of eggs. We loved to let them free range while we were doing yard work. They were all so tame and sweet. I would love to go outside while they were out of the coop and just say “Chickens” and watch them all come running to greet me! My kids told me I was the Momma Hen!

So last week, we had a tremendous heatwave. We are in the northeast so it was more than we’re used to. Saturday morning I was up early I walked into our kitchen and the windows were all fogged up due to he heat and humidity outside.

I opened the slider door and walked outside to give the girls more water, check their food and collect eggs. I was hot even at 7:30am, but there was dew on the grass and I thought I would let the girls out to play a little before it got too hot.

I also let my two Labbie girls out too but they did not want to stay out and cried to come back in.

I was just having coffee and cleaning up around the kitchen when I saw what I thought was a white grocery bag laying in the yard. Of course the windows were still foggy so l walked over to the door and opened it.

I was Horrified!

It was not a bag, it was my girl Pixie laying dead on the grass. Feathers were everywhere. Then I saw the extent of my horror: Lola, Stormy, and Shelly all throughout my backyard!

I ran to the coop hoping to see my bantam girls, but they were nowhere to be found I prayed they escaped the carnage!

I began to cry, feathers were now all over my yard. I ran into the house and called my husband, I could barely get out what had happened. I just cried - they are all gone! We were both crying. He asked if I needed him to come home, I said no.

I then had to go back outside to collect my little girls and sobbed as I did. Then I saw him - a red fox was at the corner of my property. At one point when I had run back in the house, he tried to carry Pixie off. I must have startled him and he dropped her.

I am so devastated I feel so guilty they were only outside for a short time. I was their protector and I failed! I loved them so much and I miss their sweet little personalities!

My kitchen/dining room faces the coop and I look out there thinking I will see them again but, all I see are feathers of my beautiful girls! And I start to cry...

I’m so sorry my precious little girls, you all made us so happy, we love you!

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Heartbreaking!
by: Cath

Oh Christine, I feel for you! It is totally devastating to lose so many hens like this.

I have been through it myself, once with a fox and once with a pine marten and, like you, I blamed myself.

But to be honest, we can only protect our flocks to a certain extent. We do our very best for them, we keep them healthy and happy but the sad fact is they are everybody's dinner.

Foxes, weasels, hawks, dogs, coyotes, bears - the list is endless.

So please, don't blame yourself. All we can do is remember that while they were with us, our chickens were happy and had a good life.

Give yourself time to get over your loss, and then maybe consider having some more hens. I know I didn't want to for a long time, but in the end I did, and I'm glad. the pleasure they bring us is immeasurable.

Thinking of you, and sending hugs.

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