It’s a horrible sound, that of a flock in panic – at night. I rushed outside to see what was up and with the help of my tiny LED flashlight (always kept on the fridge with a magnet for quick use), I saw that I was too late.
Something had gotten into the henhouse.
All 3 of this year’s chicks (now adolescents) were dead.
One of last years’ chicks was greatly injured (we thought she was dead until Spencer saw her trying to breathe.) She’s currently receiving Chick-ICU treatment. Last night I wasn’t sure she would make this, this morning she’s doing better but she can’t walk. Not sure if that is due to an injury or shock. I’ll be keeping an eye on her.
I’m sick. Just sick. You know that expression about how easy it is to shoot sitting ducks? Well when *something* attacks from within the hen house (and we have no idea what is was but our local fisher cat comes to mind), there is no place to go. The chickens get picked off one by one.
And the babies, who knew the least, were the ones who suffered the most.
Just yesterday morning I was telling Addy that I loved to see how Frick, Frick and Frack acted as if they were a tiny flock within the greater flock. They always played and stayed together as they explored the yard. And now they are gone.
Just like that.
From a practical point of view, this is devastating. All 4 of the chicks we got this spring have now died (one died within a week after we got her, she was deformed and didn’t grow correctly.) The remaining members of our flock are old (some are going on 6 years) which means that our egg production is going to go waaaay down.
From an emotional point of view, this is devastating. These birds are under my charge. And all 3 of the babies – at once? My heart hurts for those little ones.
I’m so very sorry this happened, my friends, my little chicks.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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