Tuesday, after an incredibly long day at work, I walked through the yard, gathered eggs, put on my muck boots and headed into the coop to feed and water the chickens.
I grabbed their water and turned on the hose, then went to the scratch bucket to give the ladies some treats before filling their feed bin.
Then, inexplicably, I thought I heard something different in the way the Ladies were chatting with me, so I decided to count them.
The Ladies are never up in the coop in the early evening, but I still listened for shuffling in the coop and then I counted again.
Still 14. But I was tired. Exhausted. I could have counted wrong.
So, I counted a final time.
Three Buffs, two Australorps, nine Ameraucanas.14.
Then I saw her. The 15th hen, one of our Original Five, was laid out under the coop. Gone.I didn’t have it in me to do much investigating, so I didn’t. But, damn…who knew losing a chicken could be so sad or so hard?
We’ve never lost a chicken like this before. I know fully that it is part of the process when keeping laying hens…there’s bound to be sickness, accidents or the necessity of culling, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting it this week…or anytime soon.
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