Thursday, June 19, 2014
No pictures for today's post - I'll spare you the gory evidence that goes along with the very sad news I'm about to relate. I went out tonight to check on the chickens and found my beloved Henrietta's pen full of feathers but no Henrietta. I called to her optimistically thinking she might be hiding under the RV or tractor, but she didn't return my call with her usual soft clucks. No answer was a good sign that I had no reason for optimism.
I eventually found her behind her coop and lifeless. It appears that either a possum or, more likely, a raccoon, pulled her through the fence and tore out her neck. For those of you that have never kept chickens: they're silly creatures and, when faced with a threat, they will head for the corners of their enclosure. In Henrietta's case, if she had just gone into her coop, she would have been safe. But she made the fatal decision to "hide" behind her coop and between it and the fence, where the raccoon reached in and grabbed her.
I feel responsible for her death and feel terrible. Before we moved the chicken coops for the solar project, we had plastic hardware cloth all the way around her pen and it had kept her safe for several years. After the move, we had a lot of work to do, so we didn't replace it although it was on the to-do list. If I had only just done it.....
Poor Henrietta had endured a lot during her short 3 and a half years. I think she laid maybe 10 eggs over the course of her life, yet we nursed her and even had her living in the basement for a short time after she was bullied by the other chickens. 'Etta, as we lovingly called her, had clucked her way into our hearts by having such a big personality. I am going to miss her following me around the yard, wanting to jump up on my knee, and the way she always clucked back to us when we talked to her. I know she was just a chicken, but I swear she knew her name.
Rest in Peace, 'Etta.