I have taken an unexpected blogging hiatus due to computer difficulties for about a month. I wanted my first post back to be full of energy and awesome animal stories from the farm. Unfortunately that is not the post I need to write.
Last night I lost one of my favorite chickens to a predator. Not only was she the cutest fluffiest silkie you have ever seen, she was the most friendly chicken around. She tolerated "Batman" picking her up and even taking her to show and tell at school. I know that having chickens means loosing chickens. It is part of keeping livestock. Just because it is inevitable does not make it easy.
Gandolf The Grey was a fierce mamma hen. She would do anything for her little chicks. She adopted 6 chicks without question. It is amazing to watch a mother hen with her chicks. Their protective instinct runs deep. They teach their chicks everything they need to know and protect them at the same time.
I noticed she and one of her chicks were missing when I was doing my nightly coop check. Every once and a while a chicken doesn't come back to the coop so I have to trudge through the woods with my flashlight until I find them hiding in a bush somewhere. This time I had a bad feeling. Gandolf the Grey always comes back. It was especially strange because her chicks were snug inside not under their mother's wing. One of her chicks was also missing. I searched and searched and could not find them. Eventually I had to call the search. I got up early in the morning to search again. This time my search ended in tears and feathers. My poor little chicken had been a victim to a raccoon (at least I think it was a raccoon. ) I assumed that the animal took the little chick.
Tonight when I went into the coop I noticed one little chick standing in the corner. After doing a count I realized it was the lost chick! The chick had survived.
Mamma Hen was just protecting her chick. She sacrificed herself for her baby. As I spent time holding the scared chick and comforting her I thought about a mother's love. Mother's will do anything for their babies, even chickens.
My little chicken had done what any mother would do, protect her baby. I will always be sad that she is gone but it makes my heart smile because she was doing what I would do, protecting her baby.